With the amount of mountain  ranges with breathtaking views , Nepal is destined to welcome more national as well as international trekkers this year. While trekking is an activity enjoyed because of its carefree and exploratory nature, you need take a lot of precautions in your expedition. One of the most common injury among trekkers is an Ankle Sprain.

What is an Ankle Sprain?

You sprain an ankle when you roll, twist or turn your ankle in an awkward manner. This impact stretches or tears the strong bands of tissues or ligaments that helps hold our bones together. Although some first-aid safety measures and over-the-counter pain medications can treat mild sprains, professional medical care is crucial to know how bad the sprain actually is.

Major Symptoms:

When you suffer from a sprained ankle, you will feel severe pain when you stand bearing weight on your affected foot. Other symptoms might include tender ankle regions, swelling, bruises, instability, popping sensation in the ankles and restrictive movement of your foot.

Major Causes:

Sprains while trekking and hiking are very common because the routes can be challenging and rough throughout the ranges. Hence, falling and landing awkwardly on your feet are more likely to happen on uneven surfaces. Prior ankle injuries, poor physical strength or flexibility, and the selection of low quality trekking gears add up to the risk of getting a sprain.

Risk of Ignoring your Ankle Sprain:

Sprain can cause future complications if not given proper medical attention under severe cases.

Some of the long term effects of sprained ankles are:

– Chronic ankle pain.

– Chronic ankle joint disability.

– Arthritis in ankle joints.

Prevention for Sprains while Trekking:

Ankle sprains might be common, but it can be prevented to some extent by

– Doing warm up exercises to maintain muscle strength and flexibility

– Being careful while hiking on uneven and bumpy surfaces

– Investing on high-quality trekking gear

– Wearing appropriate trekking shoes and ankle support braces if necessary

– Practicing stability training and balancing lessons

Consulting with a Sports Medicine specialist

Treating a Sprained Ankle:

Being cautious is important, but accidents happen and there are many injuries that can happen unexpectedly while trekking. Self-care treatments can be done to limit the effect of sprains. The PRICE (Protect, Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate) method is one of the techniques used for immediate treatment of sprains.

The protect step for this method includes relaxing your ankle by not putting any pressure on it. It can be done by sitting or lying down in a comfortable position. For rest, you need to minimise your movements and use trekking poles as crutches to help you walk.

In the next step you need to apply ice or cold water to the sprained ankle. Compressing the area affected by injury helps reduce swelling. Lastly, elevating your leg helps in recovery by improving blood circulation in the area.

If the pain becomes severe and consistent, limping becomes more prominent, and swelling doesn’t reduce, then medical attention is necessary. Patients can also take over-the counter medicines for pain and non-inflammatory drugs for the injury can be taken under doctor’s prescription.

Prevention is and always will be better than cure.

If you want to avoid any risk and stay updated before your trip, contact Swacon International Hospital for travel medications as well as consultations. Our expert medical staff and experience with travel and mountain medicine ensures that you get the best medical consultation for your trek in Nepal.

Please call us at +977-1-4478105, email us at info@swaconhospital.com or book a consultation here.

Health for All