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Ankle sprains are very common and are often the cause of lifelong discomfort. Sprains can be worse than breaks in many cases because bone will heal itself when set properly. The ligaments in your ankle need a little more care.
Even a mild sprain can be more serious then you might think. Most people try to “walk it off” rather than staying off their feet for a little bit. When a sprain does not heal properly the ligaments are weakened. This makes them more vulnerable to future sprains. First aid safety is as much about preventing injuries as it is about treating them.
When one sprain does not heal properly you are more likely to suffer multiple subsequent injuries over time. Each one does a little more to damage the ankle. Make sure to use heating pads or ice often. Avoid putting pressure on that foot for a few days and keep it elevated to avoid swelling.
Keeping a pair of crutches in the house is a good idea, especially if you play sports or engage in activities where injuries can frequently occur.
Just like the rest of the human body, you can exercise the ankles. By making them stronger you can increase balance, speed and strength while reducing the chance of injury. Use resistance bands, placed at the ball of your foot, and point your toes away from your body. Then bring your toes back up as close to your body as you can. Now repeat. This will strengthen your ankle and increase range of motion.