An ankle sprain is a common injury that occurs when one or more ligaments in the ankle are stretched or torn. Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that connect bones to each other and help to stabilize joints.
Sprained ankles can happen to anyone at any time. Whether you’re an athlete playing sports, a weekend warrior running around with your friends, or just walking down the street minding your own business, a misstep can result in an ankle sprain.
Here, we’ll take a look at what happens when you sprain your ankle, including the pain and swelling that typically accompany the injury as well as tips for recovering from it.
Symptoms of Ankle Sprains
When you first sprain your ankle, you might experience some immediate pain and swelling around the joint. Other symptoms of an ankle sprain may include:
- Limited range of motion
- Difficulty putting weight on the affected foot
It’s important to note that severe pain could indicate something more serious than a simple sprained ankle. If you experience persistent severe pain after an injury consult with medical professional
Causes of Ankle Sprains
There are many ways that people can injure their ankles resulting in varying degrees of severity Common causes include:
- Twisting or rolling your foot so that it stretches one or more ligaments beyond their capacity
- Stepping unevenly on ground irregularities like rocks or potholes
- Landing awkwardly from jumping
- Getting hit in the ankle
Types of Ankle Sprains
Not all ankle sprains are created equal. Doctors typically categorize ankle sprains by their severity and the specific ligaments that have been affected.
- Grade I: Mild stretching or tearing of one or more ligaments around the ankle joint
- Grade II: Partial tearing of one or more ligaments around the ankle joint
- Grade III: Complete tear of one or more ligaments around the ankle joint
Fun Fact: The most commonly injured ligament during an ankle sprain is called the anterior talofibular ligament . This band of tissue connects your foot bone to your lower leg bone on the outside portion of your ankle.
Treatment for Ankle Sprains
Most mild to moderate sprained ankles can be treated at home with basic self-care measures such as rest, ice , compression, and elevation to relieve pain, swelling and speed up recovery. More serious injuries may require medical attention including immobilization in a brace or cast and physical therapy.
The overall aim during treatment is to reduce inflammation from exaggerated inflamitory response protecting from future damage but can cause secondary injury itself akin to healing gone wrong which treating rhabdomyolysis injuries have linked closely with over years past).
Recovery & Prevention Tips
If you’ve ever suffered an ankle sprain before then know how important it is give yourself enough time heal properly so you’re not left dealing with debilitating pain for months afterwards – no matter how stubborn we like to pretend we are These tips will generally help:
Give your body adequate time to heal it may be tempting to start moving your foot around as soon as the pain subsides but slow and steady wins the race here.
Wrapping your ankle with a supportive bandage or brace can help reduce swelling and protect the joint from further injury. Never too much love, over-supporting many lead to weaken everything
Have you heard of ‘elevation’, where you lift the sprained ankle above heart level? Most people just know how awesome Netflix gets when they binge watch but it really is a key step in A sprain recovery!
Exercise & Strength Training
Exercise should gradually become part of your routine after an injury so long as recommended by your medical professional – regardless of severity Mild weight training exercises can aid recovery and build up ligaments for next time while ankle strengtheners like squats/squat jumps simultaneously activtating hip/glute/knee muscles will minimise pressures on feet overall during movements.
Q: Is there any way to prevent ankle sprains?
A: Strengthening exercises, improved balance, wearing appropriate footwear, and avoiding high-impact activities on hard surfaces are all ways to decrease the likelihood of an ankle sprain.
Q: How do I know if my sprained ankle is healing properly?
A: Signs that indicate proper healing include reduced pain levels, restored range-of-motion, and regaining strength/stamina back without recurrence. Consulting with medical professionals if uncertain about improvement would be best served or waiting until its completely healed before resuming regular sports vigourously
Q: Does icing actually work for reducing inflammation?
A:Icing ‘works’ because it decreases heat around injured tissues responsible for release of inflammatory molecules which cause additional tissue damage so yes!
Although often dismissed as being “just” a sprain, ankle injuries can be extremely painful and take a while to heal properly . With the right care however, most sprained ankles will eventually make a full recovery. But as always prevention is the best cure – so be sure to exercise caution, wear good shoes for sport and probably never attempt ballet unless under supervision of a professional.
So next time you’re out and about, watch your step!