Ankle Sprains

Ankle Sprains

Description Of The Injury: Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries suffered by athletes. They often occur in sports during a turning or twisting motion or a sudden movement that results in the rolling of the ankle. This results in the stretching of the ankle ligaments and potentially in minor tears. There are three grades of ankle sprains ranging from a mild grade I to a severe grade III.

Injury Symptoms: Occasionally, a pop or snap may be heard at the time of injury which can indicate an ankle sprain or something more severe. This is usually followed by pain, redness and swelling on the outside or inside, near the ankle bone itself.

Additional Information

Home Treatments:

Ankle sprains can usually be successfully treated using the rest, ice, compression and elevation principle. The ankle should not be used to bear weight for the first several days, and use of the foot should occur gradually over a time span of 1-3 weeks. Ice should be used for the initial couple of days, at 20 minute sessions, 4-8 times per day. A heat pack may be substituted later on once or twice a day. Anti inflammatory medication, bandages to compress the area and elevation of the area above chest level can greatly reduce the pain and swelling of the injury.

Professional Medical Treatments:

Most ankle sprains will not require medical treatment. A doctor may advise the use of crutches or a walker to reduce stress on the ankle. Surgery is only considered if the sprain is extremely severe or remains unstable after conservative treatment.

Physical Therapy and Exercises:

Ankle sprain physical therapy will include range of motion, flexibility and strengthening exercises. Toe circle and writing the alphabet in the air with your toes will improve the range of motion. Standing calf stretch and standing Achilles stretch further improve the range of motion. Finally, step ups, toe walking, towel curls and isometric exercises help improve the strength of the calf muscles and the Achilles tendon

Exercise Techniques to Prevent Injury:

Leg exercises such as leg presses and leg curls should be used to maintain leg strength which will aid in injury prevention. In addition to a regular exercise program, exercising on softer grounds and using proper shoes and soles will go a long way in preventing ankle sprains from occurring.

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