What is an Ankle Sprain?
Ankles are the most common body part injured during sporting activities. An ankle sprain occurs when you stretch or tear a ligament on the side of the ankle. There are different levels ranging from mild to severe, depending on the extent of damage to the ligament. When you sprain an ankle there are different signs and symptoms which include pain or soreness, swelling, bruising, stiffness, and difficulty walking.
Are Multiple Sprains Common?
According to Patrick McKeon, an assistant professor in the Division of Athletic Training at the University of Kentucky, the recurrence rate for ankle sprains is at least 30 percent but may be as high as 80 percent. This is because each sprain further weakens and stretches the ligaments, which results in an increase of instability. Damage to the ligament also damages neuro-receptors as well, which can cause your brain to no longer receive reliable signals that tell where and how your ankle and foot are positioned in space, thus affecting proprioception and leading to greater chance of falling over.
What to Do if you Sprain an Ankle?
If you think that you may have sprained your ankle, it is important to immediately start treatment using the R.I.C.E method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) to help reduce pain, swelling, and prevent further injury. Without proper treatment for an ankle sprain there can be long term negative effects such as chronic instability or pain.
Treatment for Chronic Instability?
Treatment can include bracing to keep the ankle from turning and prevent additional sprains. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as over-the-counter pain relievers, are also used to help decrease pain and swelling. And one of the most important treatments is physical therapy. The exercises and various treatments are designed to help strengthen, increase range of motion, improve balance, and retrain the muscles of the ankle.
We treat ankle sprains in the 34711 area!