A Question and Answer Session with Dr. Ana Palmieri
Q: I play basketball a few times a week, but rolled my ankle pretty badly last weekend. What is the best way to treat and recover from a sprained ankle?
A: Early and proper treatment of a sprained ankle plays a key role in recovering from the injury and getting back to normal activity. Initially, it is best to rest the ankle to allow it time to heal. Stay away from activities with high impact, like running or basketball. Place ice on your ankle for fifteen to twenty minutes per day to reduce the swelling. Bike-riding and swimming are great low-impact activities that you can perform while you heal. If your ankle continues to hurt, seek medical attention. Some ankle injuries can be severe, and may need a more aggressive form of treatment.
Q: Every once in a while, I get "shin splints." What causes that to happen, and what can I do?
A: "Shin Splints" is the general term used to describe pain on the front of your tibia bone (shin). The pain can come from your muscle, the bone itself, or the area where the muscle attaches to the bone. Most of the time, the pain comes when you increase your intensity level or the duration of your activity. Athletes with demanding regimens, such as marathon runners, also experience these injuries quite often. Shin splints are most common in situations of overuse. The overuse causes irritation to the tendons in the legs, and thus causes the pain. Shin splints can be treated with ice packs or an ice massage for up to twenty minutes a day, three times a day. Anti-inflammatory medications may also be prescribed by your physician. Training wisely and with the correct intensity will also minimize the recurrence of this injury.