Sprained Ankle Heat Therapy
Thermal / Heat Treatment for Ankle Sprains
An ankle sprain is an ankle injury that occurs when you damage your ankle ligaments, which is generally caused by movements such as twisting, turning and rolling of the foot. Ankle sprains are classified as either inversion (lateral) ankle sprains, which are most common, and eversion (medial) ankle sprains. Ankle sprains are also judged in severity through a grading system. Ankle sprains are graded as either a 1, 2, or 3, with 3 being the worst.
The Anatomy of an Ankle Sprain
When an ankle sprain occurs, the ankle’s ligaments are damaged, releasing blood into the ankle tissue surrounding the ankle. The increased blood flow brings extra fluid and white blood cells to the area, causing swelling and bruising. Because your sprained ankle is now full of fluid, the surrounding nerves become very sensitive, which is why you feel pain, throbbing, and warmth in your ankle.
Ankle Sprain Grades
- Grade 1 – The least severe ankle sprain grade. Grade 1 sprains are defined as mild ligament damage, which may cause light swelling and bruising. Grade 1 sprains take the least time to heal.
- Grade 2 – Grade 2 sprains are defined as having partially torn a ligament, stretching it to the point where it becomes loose. Grade 2 sprains are more painful than grade 1 sprains and take longer to heal.
- Grade 3 – Grade 3 sprains are the most severe. Grade 3 sprains are defined as a complete tear of the ligament, which causes instability in the affected joint. Grade 3 sprains are the most painful and involve the longest recovery times.
When To Use Heat Therapy for Ankle Sprains
Heat therapy with the AnkleAid ankle and foot bath has the opposite of effect of cold, as it opens blood vessels and encourages more blood to flow into the sprained ankle, which is why it is recommended that you never treat your ankle sprain with heat therapy until at least 72 hours has passed. Once your ankle sprain has been given time to stabilize, heat therapy with the AnkleAid thermal / heat bath is a great way to relax the muscle tissue and help prevent stiffness. The sooner you can get your ankle moving, the quicker your healing time, and heat helps to promote more motion in the muscles.