Sprained ankles are common, particularly amongst those who play sports. This guide will show you how you get them, the sort of strains there are, how you can treat them and give you tips on how to prevent them. Let’s take a look!
How they happen
Ankle sprains can occur when there is a sudden twist in the foot. This can be due to sudden changes in direction, loss of footing, bad landings from a jump, or even coming down some stairs in an awkward fashion. The ankle twists around and stretches the ligaments that support it, making a complete or partial tear. Ouch.
They can occur as a result of pushing things too far when you exercise; this is why it’s essential you know precisely what to expect when you start a new exercise regime. If you’re going for something pretty heavy duty, then make you research things like Insanity Schedule and Calendar – what to expect. As long as you’re properly prepared for your exercise routine, you should be able to prevent sprains!
Each sprain can be classified to signify its severity. Grade I ankle sprains are when the ligaments have been stretched, causing pain, swelling and restricted movement. You may not be able to run or jump for a week or so, but walking around – perhaps with a slight limp – will usually be achievable.
Grade II sprains happen when there is a partial tear of the ligament. This is often accompanied by some bleeding beneath the skin that causes bruising; swelling; and more severe pain. Walking is possible with this type of sprain, but you will struggle to do so without limping, and may only be able to walk a few steps at a time. Crutches might be used.
Grade III sprains are when the ligaments are completely torn. Walking can be difficult, and it can be painful for some weeks and possibly months. After a Grade III sprain, the ankle may be unstable for some time, and it becomes easier for it to give way, possibly exacerbating the problem further.
The severity of your sprain will have an effect on the treatment you receive.If you are struggling to walk, are severely swollen, or have persistent symptoms or pain in the foot or ankle, you should seek attention at a hospital or medical clinic. You may have a fracture, and the doctor will advise that you have an X-ray for a diagnosis.
The general way to treat a sprained ankle is to rest it as much as possible and use the R.I.C.E procedure – Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate!
Prevention & aftercare
After you have suffered from a sprained ankle, it is quite common for the area around the ankle to become weak. This means that you are likely to sprain it again, so take your time getting back to your usual fitness routine. It may be that your injury will have a significant impact on your life, in the short-term. You could even wear ankle straps once you up and running again to help give the area some artificial support. Exercising the ankle regularly will strengthen the area, and you should always warm-up before vigorous exercise, and stretch out afterwards.