Sunday, July 19, 2015

Guide to a sprained ankle

Picture taken from here

I sprained my ankle last Monday, or so, I thought. I was going down the staircase, and in my dreamy mode early in the morning, I missed the last step. As if that is not bad enough, I SAT on my sprained ankle (yeah.. ouch..!!). I was wide awake by then, and for a moment I wondered what actually happened..!?!?

I am quite prone to falling and missing my steps, so I had hope that this was just a normal fall which does not require any attention until one hour later, when I realized that my right ankle had swollen to the size of a tennis ball.

Immediately I picked up the phone and called my team mate to identify a Chinese traditional clinic to take me to. Within 1 1/2 hour later, I was at the outlet, and given first hand treatment due to my bad limping. It was wrapped up with Chinese herbs within minutes and I was given a bottle of Chinese herbs to take to help with the swelling. Prior to leaving the place, I was advised not to drive for the next two days, because proper rest for sprained ankle (like no walking at all) for the first 2 days is crucial in the healing of swollen ankles.

Having gone through this episode of fall, I realized how little I know about what to do after a fall. Due to this, I feel the need to highlight what are the right steps to take to ensure speedy healing, and that we practice the minimum adherence to avoid long term damage (according to the Chinese, stuffs like wind in the old age, pain before the rain, blah, blah, blah..).

1. After a fall, if you are still able to hobble back to your place or home, it means no broken bones.

Picture taken from here

You fell beautifully!

2. Once you have sprained your ankle, there is nothing much anyone can do, until after approximately 4 hours later. Even if you go to a Chinese traditional physician immediately, they won't be able to touch it. All they can do is to wrap it up with herbs to help reduce the swelling.

Alternatively, if you choose not to do this, you can put up your leg on a raised pillow OR put on an ice-pack for about 15 minutes. As often as possible.

    a) Once the herbs are patched on by the Chinese physician, it should not be in contact with water or wind for 3 hours. So wear socks. After 4 hours, you can remove it and shower with warm water.

    b) Do not drink any cold drinks, drinks with ice and cooling drinks or fruits like coconut, "leong cha" or "leong sui", water melon, honey dew, starfruit), should be avoided until the pain or swell disappears completely.

Picture taken from here
Yeah, you heard right! Completely...

    c) If your body is heaty and you must take a cooling drink - boil barley with pandan leaves, cane sugar or molasses sugar. Normal white sugar causes wind which is not good. Alternatively, you can take hot manuka honey.

Barley with pandan leaves. Picture taken from here
Lovely! You should reward yourself with this.. :)))

Note - Barley helps to reduce swelling too, so it's an ideal drink!
    d) Some physician will say stay away from spicy and sour food. Some will say eat away and that you can even eat nuts and beans and seafood. I leave that to you.

It is advised that you visit them again the next day for a proper massage to further reduce the swelling or to further identify other damages that the fall might have caused or to clear up any blue black patches (caused by bleeding during the impact). Alternatively you can go to a proper clinic.

3. Once your ankle is sprained, it is advise that you stay put (without any walking) for the first two days, as the first two days are crucial in the healing process.

4. If, upon 2nd visit to the physician, you discover that you have actually torn some tendons or ligaments (in my case, that's what happened), you are advised not to walk too much unnecessarily. The healing process takes approximately 2 to 3 weeks. Use a crutch, that's the best. 

No sports or yoga either. So it's basically time to put up your feet and relax.. :)))

It is advisable to put on an ankle guard, to ensure you do not sprain it again within the first 2 months. Good ankle guard emits bio-ray to stimulate constant blood circulation, prevents swelling and most importantly, it keeps your ankle in proper position during this delicate moment of injury and healing period. 

At this stage, it is rather easy to sprain it second or third time.

Putting on ankle guards with bio ray means you get constant stimulation to ensure there is blood circulation. This is equivalent to going for massage at the Chinese physician.



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