An ankle sprain is generally any injury to your muscles/tendons or ligaments connecting your leg bones to the foot. Ligaments play a vital role in making leg movements possible. This type of sports injury is very common among active people. An ankle sprain can be overwhelmingly painful and unbearable for anyone. It can also cause endless discomfort, and severe cartilage/blood vessels/tendons damage.
Causes of an Ankle Sprain
An ankle sprain can occur due to many factors. Most cases of ankle injuries are witnessed among those who engage in hockey, gymnastics, athletics, swimming, football, volleyball, rugby, and cycling among other major sports activities. Ankle sprains can also be caused by the following;
- Unexpected movement
- Inward ankle twist
- Inappropriate footwear
- Overusing of muscles
- Walking on uneven surfaces
- Improper or lack or warmup
Common Symptoms of Ankle sprains
Ankle sprains can affect anyone regardless of their age, race, gender, or nationality. This type of sports injury is known to cause multiple signs and symptoms. They include the following;
- Muscles/tendons/ligaments/ deformities or tears
- Restricted movement
- Skin discolorations
- Acute pain around the ankle
- Ankle sprain prevention
Prevention of ankle sprains
Most people have experienced an ankle injury at some point in their lives. However; it is possible to prevent many ankle sprains through the following techniques;
- Wearing protective gear such as pads and braces
- Using elastic bandages to wrap affected parts
- Proper stretching / warmup
- Wearing appropriate footwear
- Walking on even surfaces
- Engaging in strengthening exercises
- Embracing warm-ups before engaging in sports or exercises
- Taking a break from active sports when fatigued or tired
Ankle Sprain Diagnosis
Ankle sprains can be diagnosed using several diagnosis methods. Health experts use the following ankle sprain diagnosis techniques;
- Imaging tests
Your medical doctor can suggest you go through an X-ray or MRI scan to evaluate the extent of your muscle/ligaments/tendons injury as a result of an ankle sprain. Imaging tests are important in evaluating whether your ankle injury is minor, mild or severe. If you have a fractured bone or serious ankle injury, an MRI scan can help your doctor to diagnose the situation better before making any treatment recommendations.
- Physical exams
Doctors can effectively evaluate or assess the extent of your ankle sprain through an extensive physical exam. Your GP may request you to move your ankle joint in various directions, or ask you on where you feel pain in order to determine whether you have torn your ankle ligaments/muscles/tendons extensively, or fractured bones.
Ankle Sprain Treatment
Ankle sprains can be treated successfully using both surgical and non-surgical treatment methods. In fact, minor and mild ankle sprains can be treated using certain home care treatment techniques such as applying ice, or wrapping affected areas using elastic bandages, elevating injured ankle with soft pillows, compression, and wearing braces, among other treatment options.
Your doctor can also prescribe anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, paracetamols, and acetaminophen to treat your sprained ankle. Mild ankle injuries can be treated through physical therapy, while orthopedic surgery may work best in treating more severe injuries.
Regardless of whether your ankle injury is minor, mild or severe, it is wise to consult a dependable Sports Medicine expert for appropriate medical assistance.
For more information about Lubbock Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Kevin Crawford, click below.