What Causes An Ankle Sprain
According to the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Association, people who play sports are at higher risk for sprains. But you dont have to be an athlete to experience a rolled ankle. Anything that causes your ankle to roll, twist, or bend at an abnormal angle can cause a mild sprain or worse. The Mayo Clinic finds that other common causes both in sports and otherwise- include walking on uneven surfaces, falling, landing awkwardly on your foot after jumping or pivoting, or having another person or object land on your foot.
These sports injuries are most often reported in tennis, basketball, football, soccer, volleyball, and cross country running.
Even if youre not an athlete or weekend warrior, you might be at a higher risk of sustaining a sprained ankle if you:
- commonly walk on uneven surfaces
- are in poor physical health
- wear improper shoes
- or have suffered foot and ankle injuries in the past
In Addition To These Symptoms An Ankle Fracture Might Also Include:
- Pain and swelling that does not reduce after a day or two
- Inability to bear weight on the injured leg
- Numbness or weakness
- Reduced circulation
If there is any doubt about whether your ankle is sprained or fractured, immediately seek medical attention. If you have a mild or moderate injury, consider these sprained ankle remedies:
Common Ankle Injuries: How To Treat A Sprained Ankle
Around the house, on the playing field, or somewhere in between, many of us will suffer a sprained ankle or two in our lifetime. In fact, its been estimated that approximately 28,000 Americans sprain an ankle each day. Interestingly enough, while ankle sprains represent nearly 10 percent of all emergency room visits, roughly 68 percent of people who suffer from them do not seek professional medical treatment. Many individuals are used to simply walking it off and may potentially return to play well before the injury has fully healed. This is truly unfortunate, because an ankle sprain may weaken the surrounding tissues, leading to ankle instability and increasing the chances of the injury occurring again in the future. A single severe sprain or a history of ankle sprains may set the stage for other conditions, including osteoarthritis, later in life. Of course, not all ankle sprains will require professional treatment, and there are many at-home remedies suitable for treating mild sprains. However, if a chronic condition does develop, it may require conservative care therapies or other treatments. At Sports Medicine Oregon, we specialize in a range of sprained ankle treatments and preventative care options, to keep athletes and other active individuals on the move.
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Infographic: Rehab Exercises For Ankle Sprain
Ankle sprains prompt swelling and discomfort and reduce the range of motion. They occur when the ankle rolls, bends, or rotates in an odd manner.
Many individuals manage a sprained ankle at home by resting, applying ice, and taking pain relief medicines. However, you can speed up this recovery process by incorporating a few rehab exercises into your lifestyle. Check out the infographic below to learn more!
Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team
While the above tips and tricks can help heal a sprained ankle faster, you must take care to prevent it in the first place itself. Avoiding high heel shoes, reducing weight, wearing terrain-appropriate shoes, can all help reduce the chances of an accidental ankle sprain. First aid, rest, and proper support are important to treat an ankle sprain. Hot and cold compress, RICE method, anti-inflammatory medications or natural agents, along with a bit of mild exercise can help reduce pain and aid faster recovery.
When To Get Help For A Sprained Ankle
Someone with a sprained ankle should go to the ER right away if it any of the following occurs:
- The joint appears deformed
- The injured person is pale or has an unsteady pulse
- The injured person experiences paralysis, tingling, or extreme pain
You may also need to see your doctor or a specialized sports medicine doctor if you have a severe sprain and/or your symptoms persist despite practicing R.I.C.E. at home.
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Can I Walk On A Sprained Ankle
Perhaps this question is better phrased as, Should I walk on a sprained ankle? The general rule is that if you feel pain in your ankle when you put weight on it, you shouldn’t be walking on it. Use crutches for the first several days after suffering the injury, and then use an ankle brace or boot to provide support. Also, just because you can walk on a sprained ankle a week or so after the injury doesnt mean you should be running or trying to do other athletic activities.
If youre not sure which of these sprained ankle remedies is right for you, consult with a physician. Ask him or her about prescribing Game Ready to help control pain and inflammation while you recover.
How To Treat A Sprained Ankle At Home
A sprained ankle is something that can affect anyone at any age. Rolling or overstretching the ankles can lead to a sprain if the ligaments in your ankle are pulled hard enough. Sprained ankles are a common problem, especially for athletes. Since ankle sprains tend to happen when you’re running or jumping, playing volleyball, soccer or football are the top sports where athletes are likely to experience an ankle sprain.
Levels of ankle sprains
There are three types of sprains: mild, moderate and severe.
Mild: The ligaments in your ankle are stretched but not torn. You are still able to walk. However, your ankle is swollen and stiff.
Moderate: One ligament might be entirely or partially torn. Walking is painful, and the ankle is tender to the touch. Your ankle is also swollen and stiff.
Severe: Complete tears in the ligaments, making the ankle feel unstable. You cannot walkintense pain with severe swelling and bruising.
No matter the severity of your sprain, you should treat your ankle right away.
At-home ankle sprain treatments
Rest: The first step in treating a sprained ankle is to let it rest. Take the weight off it try not to move it too much and consider crutches if the pain is bad enough.
Ice: Use ice or a cold pack on the affected area. Put some ice in a kitchen towel and place it on your foot for about 30 minutes. Don’t place the ice directly onto your skin. Don’t exceed 30 minutes and wait at least an hour in between icing. This will help reduce swelling.
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What Home Remedies Are Effective For Sprains And Strains
- Rest the injured part. Pain is the body’s signal to not move an injury.
- Ice the injury. This will limit the swelling and help with the spasm.
- Compress the injured area. This again, limits the swelling. Be careful not to apply a wrap so tightly that it might act as a tourniquet and cut off the blood supply.
- Elevate the injured part. This lets gravity help reduce the swelling by allowing fluid and blood to drain downhill to the heart.
Over-the-counter pain medication is an option. Acetaminophen is helpful for pain, but ibuprofen or naproxen might be better because these medications relieve both pain and inflammation. Remember to follow the guidelines on the bottle for appropriate dose of the medicine, especially for children and teens. Underlying medical conditions or use of other prescription medicines may limit the use of over the counter pain medications.
A Common Home Treatment Plan For Sprained Ankles
If youve sprained your ankle, youve no doubt already learned how much an ankle injury can interfere with your daily activities. Our Philadelphia area foot doctors know how frustrating the lack of independence can be when you have a sprained ankle, and we realize that you might be tempted to try to rush your healing time so you can get back to your usual routine. This is not wise, though, because you could end up extending your recovery period for several weeks.
Many doctors recommend the PRINCE approach to treating a sprained ankle at home:
Since sprained ankle and fracture symptoms can be quite similar, its important to seek the advice of an experienced Phoenixville podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis. The dedicated team of Pennsylvania foot care experts at Healthmark Foot & Ankle Associates is at your service, with two convenient locations. Call us today in Media at 610-565-3668 or in Phoenixville at 610-933-8644 for a consultation.
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Types Of Ankle Sprains
Our feet tend to turn inward as we walk, so sprained ankles most commonly happen when the ankle rolls inward, resulting inlateral ankle sprains. Theseoccur when you stretch or tear the ligaments on the outside of your ankle. Medial ankle sprains are less common. This is when you injure the ligaments on the inside of the ankle. A syndesmotic ankle sprain- or high ankle sprain- involves the tearing of the ligaments above the ankle. Though this type does not occur as often, it can be combined with lateral and medial sprains and often takes months to heal.
What Does Not Work
If you ask your friends, they will tell you to rest and ice your ankle until it feels better. But, heres the problem rest and ice have been shown to be completely inadequate for healing a sprained ankle. There are a lot of reasons, but I will briefly cover it here
Basically, a ton of recent research has suggested that rest and icedoes not heal ANY of the damage from the injury, nor does it strengthen or stabilize the ankles. In fact, rest and ice may actually set you up for a very long recovery with weak ankles that are at a HIGH risk of re-injury. The reason is that rest and ice does NOTHING proactive to heal the injury and ankles do NOT heal themselves. Its a wait and see approach that doesnt work, unfortunately For more on this, please read: Ice a Sprained Ankle?
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Handling A Personal Injury That Didnt Happen At Home
No one likes the idea of suing anyone but claiming a personal injury with anothers insurance is different than suing. Most businesses and even schools have insurance policies that will pay for the medical bills if someone were to be injured while on their property. Even homeowners typically have coverage if there was ever an injury on their personal property. Sometimes, even when you do not want to place blame on someone else when it wasnt their fault , filing on their insurance may be the best option. Your own personal insurance can decide to refuse payment for treatment, leaving you with big out-of-pocket medical bills.
If the injury happened because there were unsafe conditions such as slippery floors without a wet floor sign, an uneven piece of payment in a walkway, claiming on their insurance is even more important. However, it is not an easy process. According to the legal professionals at wattelandyork.com/tucson/, seeking legal help can help you strengthen your case, elevating your chances of receiving fair compensation for your losses. If there are ongoing medical concerns, a lawyer, like KFB Law, who handles personal injury claims may need to be called.
Long-term problems can result from even just a sprained ankle. Take care of your injury the best you can but remember to trust your own judgment and visit a doctor if needed. Also, if the injury happened elsewhere, make sure you get the proper treatment.
What Can I Expect If I Have A Sprained Ankle
After giving your ankle time to heal and treating the sprain according to your healthcare providers recommendations, you’ll be able to get back to regular activities. Your prognosis depends on your commitment to building strength back in your ankle through exercises and rehabilitation. If your ankle hasn’t healed completely or you stopped the strengthening exercises, your injured ligament could weaken and put you at risk for future ankle sprains.
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Sprain occurs when the ligaments are twisted and torn. As damage to the ligaments, the capsules surrounding the ankle joint can also be damaged. Damage causes bleeding in tissues of an ankle and causes it to swell. This problem is often caused by excessive force on the joint. The extent of the injury will depend on the severity of the ligament injuries.
Depending on the severity of the injury, an ankle sprain may be classified as:
- Level 1: The ankle is painful, but the ligaments are only slightly injured and they do not lose many functions.
- Level 2: The ankle joint is loose, the ligaments are severely injured.
- Level 3: The ankle joints are loose or unstable, one or more ligaments are torn.
An ankle sprain is a condition many people experience, especially those who play sports or exercise excessively. Ankle sprain causes pain, swelling, and bruising, which affects the mobility of the patient. Doctors often do not recommend surgery in most cases of ankle sprain. The treatment depends on the severity of the lesion. Most cases of ankle sprains are very easy to treat, and usually recover very quickly. If you just have a mild sprain, you will receive some tips to take care of your injury at home. However, after healing, the ankle will become weaker and the ankle sprains will easily return.
What Are Common Causes Of Sprained Ankle?
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- Prepare a cup of ice cubes and wrap it in a towel
- Apply the above towel to the sprained ankle
- Repeat this method every 2 or 3 hours, within 48 to 72 hours after the injury.
Note: You should not directly put ice cubes on the sprained ankle because it can damage your skin.
Turmeric has anti-inflammation properties, so it is considered as a powerful pain reliever. Besides, antispasmodic properties of turmeric make it effective in relaxing the muscles and joints’ pain and swelling. The research on the American Journal of Physiology also confirmed the effects of turmeric on sprained ankle treatment.
Remedy 1: Turmeric And Lemon Juice
- Mix 2 tablespoons of turmeric powder and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice well
- Add to the above mixture a suitable amount of water to make a thick paste
- Apply the above mixture to the sprained ankle and use a bandage to wrap it
- Let it stay for 10 hours
- Rinse it off after 10 hours and then apply another solution. Continuously apply this remedy in a week, and you will be surprised with the result.
Remedy 2: Turmeric And Limestone
Remedy 3: Turmeric And Milk
- Prepare 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and add it to a cup of warm milk
- Drink 2 cups of turmeric milk per day to get rid of the sprained ankle as soon as possible.
3. Epsom Salt
Remedy 1: Garlic And Coconut Oil
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When You Should Seek Medical Attention
Luckily, many acute sports- and exercise-related injuries can be treated at home following the treatment suggestions below. However, a severe sprain may require a health professional or even an immediate visit to one of your local urgent care clinics. If you fear that you might have a broken ankle, ankle fracture, or dislocated ankle, head for the hospital immediately for an X-ray. Other signs that you may need to see a doctor include:
- Inability to put weight on the ankle, even after a few days of rest.
- Increased swelling, discoloration, or deformity at the site.
- Experience extreme pain that cannot be controlled.
- Paralysis, tingling, or other health issues.
Different Types Of Ankle Sprains
Ligaments are thick pieces of connective tissue that connect bone to bone. Ligaments provide important stability for the ankle. Ligaments can be overstretched or torn. These injuries are called sprains. There are three types of ankle sprains
Grade 1 Sprain
A Grade 1 sprain involves the least amount of ligament injury. Ligaments are typically overstretched without tearing. Symptoms involve mild swelling and tenderness with no functional loss or instability . Go our blog, How to Treat Ankle Sprains, to learn more.
Grade 2 Sprain
These sprains are more severe than Grade 1. Ligaments are partially torn. Symptoms include moderate pain, swelling, tenderness, restricted range of motion, and joint instability. Read: Sprained Ankle: When Do You Need Surgery? for more information.
Grade 3 Sprain
This is the most severe injury and involves a complete tear of the ligament. Symptoms include marked swelling, bruising, and tenderness. There is severe loss of function with most patients being unable to bear weight. The ankle joint in a Grade 3 sprain is misaligned and unstable.
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Ice Compress & Elevate
This acronym may be very familiar to those of you who have a history of sprained ankles.
Ice around the sprain helps to reduce the acute pain you may be feeling after the injury. It also helps to reduce the swelling by causing the blood vessels to constrict and prevents too much fluid from accumulating. Apply an ice pack to the area for 5-10 minutes every 2-3 hours, 1-2 days after the injury.
Compression involves wrapping an ankle sprain bandage or tape around the ankle to form a figure-of-eight ankle bandage support.
Elevation means keeping your foot elevated above the heart
Both compression and elevation help to assist the circulation of accumulated fluid away from the injured joint, and reduce swelling. All these can be done while applying ice during the first few days of injury!