Have Ankle Pain? Could Be a Sprain

We all know how easy it is to twist and ankle or foot especially this time of year with extreme weather, activities and all around hustle and bustle. Take this advice on how to keep safe and learn the proper treatment just in case.

What Are the Symptoms of an Ankle Sprain?

You may have a sprained ankle if you notice the following symptoms in the ankle:

  • swelling
  • tenderness
  • bruising
  • pain
  • inability to put weight on the affected ankle
  • skin discoloration
  • stiffness

The ankle can sustain many different types of injuries. It’s important to see your doctor when you’re experiencing problems with your ankle. Your doctor can determine whether the injury is a sprain or something more severe.

What is ankle sprain exactly

So what actually happens when you sprain your ankle? You stretch or tear the ligaments—the bands of tissue that hold your bones together—usually on the outside of the ankle.

The good news is that most sprains are minor and will heal, given time and proper treatment. The bad news is that once you have sprained your ankle, you are prone to more sprains.

Ankle sprains are classified by severity:

  • Grade 1 – A mild sprain with no tearing of the ligaments, minor swelling, and some pain while walking.
  • Grade 2 – A moderate sprain with partial tearing of the ligaments, noticeable swelling, bruising, and difficulty walking.
  • Grade 3 – A severe sprain with complete tearing of the ligaments, sharp pain, severe swelling, internal bleeding, and the inability to walk.

Most ankle sprains are minor and clear up through home treatment. But Grade 2 and 3 sprains should be seen and treated by a podiatrist or doctor. Severe swelling or pain can be a sign of internal bleeding, full ligament rupture, or broken or fractured bones.

If you have a Grade 2 or 3 sprain, a doctor or podiatrist should help treat you. If you have a Grade 1 sprain, start off by following the classic RICE principle:

  • Rest: Put your physical activity on hold and keep your weight off the ankle as much as possible. Use crutches to get around if necessary.
  • Ice: Ice your ankle for about 20 minutes every few hours for the first few days, tapering down until your symptoms are gone.
  • Compression: Wrap your ankle in an elastic bandage to keep down swelling and provide support.
  • Elevation: Prop your ankle up on a pillow when you are sitting or lying down.

You can also take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication to help with pain and swelling.

Note that if you don’t treat your ankle sprain properly, not only will you be prone to frequent future sprains but you may also develop a condition called chronic ankle instability. Make sure you get proper medical attention and treatment for your sprain.

First, concentrate on healing the damage so you can get back on your feet. This may take as long as 4 to 8 weeks, depending on the severity of the sprain. Be patient and don’t rush your recovery—returning to activity too soon risks chronic ankle pain, instability, and other problems.

When your ankle no longer hurts and feels as strong as the other ankle, you are ready to resume your normal activities. But even after one sprain, your ankle is now weaker and prone to further sprains, so you’ll want to take some extra preventative measures:

Reference source| Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide: https://www.footsmart.com/health-resource-center/leg/ankle-sprains?ailmentBodyPartId=64

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