A sprained ankle can be understood as an injury that occurs when you twist, roll, or turn your ankle in an awkward manner. This usually has the effect of stretching or tearing the ligaments that help to hold the ankle bone together. Ligaments are necessary when it comes to providing stability in joints and preventing excessive movements. A sprained ankle happens when the ligaments in the ankle are forced to move beyond their normal range of motion. In most cases, sprained ankles also involve trauma to the ligaments found on the outer side of the ankle. Some cases of a sprained ankle and be dealt with through self-care, while others may require you to visit the Illinois Foot & Ankle Clinic. Below are some important things you should know about ankle sprains.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and the symptoms that are associated with a sprained ankle vary from case to case depending on the severity of the injury. They usually include:
- Pain when the affected foot bears some weight
- Tenderness when the ankle is touched
- Ankle’s restricted range of motion
- Popping sound or sensation at the time of the injury
- Instability in the ankle
You should call your doctor if you are experiencing severe pain in the ankle, and you are suspecting a sprain. Although self-care may work in some cases, it may be essential for you to contact a doctor to determine if there is a need for the ankle to be evaluated. If the pain is severe and it does not seem to go away with time, you may have torn ligaments or even a fracture in the ankle or even the lower leg.
Causes of Ankle Sprain
An ankle sprain can occur when the ankle is forced to move beyond its normal range of motion. This can cause one or several ligaments to stretch or even get damaged. Some common causes of ankle sprain include:
- A fall that twists the ankle
- Landing awkwardly after jumping
- Walking or jogging on an uneven surface
- Another person landing on your foot or stepping on it during sports activities
Some risk factors associated with ankle sprain include wearing improper shoes, exercising on uneven ground, participating in physical sports such as soccer, prior ankle injuries, and poor physical conditions.
Prevention and Treatment
There are several things that you can do to prevent yourself from sustaining an ankle sprain. For instance, you should avoid wearing high heels and exercising on uneven surfaces. You should also maintain muscle strength and flexibility and warm-up adequately before engaging in vigorous sports. Ankle sprains can be treated through self-care such as ice, rest, and compression. You may also find relief in pain medication and physical therapy. In severe cases, an ankle sprain may call for surgery.
Overall, it is apparent that an ankle sprain is quite a common issue that occurs when the ankle is accidentally forced to move beyond its normal range of motion. If you have sustained an ankle sprain injury, it is wise for you to seek the assistance of a doctor for proper tests to be done. This is the best way to determine the right treatment for you.