The most common types of ankle injuries are sprains and fractures. These types of injuries can be picked up very easily and are common in the GAA. It is very easy to jump for a ball and land awkwardly on your ankle, which is very painful.
The ankle will start to swell up straight away and should be treated right away. It will be painful to put any weight on your feet so it is important to try and rest it until it has healed properly.
The sooner the recovery process is started the better. The first step should be to get ice on the ankle to keep the swelling down and reduce inflammation. An ice pack or a bag of peas are often used for this. Ice should not be left on the skin for any longer than 15 minutes at a time.
It is important to try and keep weight off the ankle to prevent further damage and so that it has time to heal. Getting a pair of crutches may be necessary to get around for a few days until the ankle has sufficient time to heal.
Compressing the ankle in elastic bandage is also beneficial. It stabilizes the ankle which helps to prevent further damage. Swelling is also reduced by using a bandage.
Keeping the ankle elevated while resting can also speed up the recovery process. By holding it above the heart level it can reduce pain and swelling.
By keeping to this method of recovery an athlete could be back doing some exercise after a week or two. Once the recovery process is completed it is then essential to build up the strength in the ankle again. Exercises such as calf raises should be completed to build up the muscle around the ankle and to prevent further ankle injuries occurring.
image sourced from belfasttelegraph.co.uk