A Few Words About Ankle Sprains:
Ankle sprains are common injuries among athletes. They occur when the ligaments surrounding your ankle become inflamed or damaged. The most common type of ankle sprain is called Grade 1 (Grade I = minor). There are many other types of ankle sprains but they tend to affect less than Grade 1 sprains.
The injury usually occurs during sports activities such as running, jumping, and landing from a jump. When the ligament(s) around your ankle becomes inflamed or damaged it causes pain and swelling. Over time these injuries may cause damage to the bone underneath the skin. If untreated, an injured ankle will eventually lead to complete loss of movement in your foot or leg due to weakness of the muscles and tendons that support your foot bones.
Injuries like these are fairly easy to treat with rest and ice. Most people recover completely within a few weeks. However, if the injury occurs during any kind of physical activity or strenuous activity then it may take longer for your body to fully heal. Some people have a higher risk of developing long term complications such as arthritis or even osteoarthritis later in life. It is important to seek immediate medical attention if these symptoms occur.
What I Can Do About My Ankle Sprain:
The most important thing you can do when recovering from an ankle sprain is rest. You must rest your foot or leg to allow the damaged ligaments and muscles to heal. It is also important to stay off of the injured foot or leg unless absolutely necessary as this will prevent any further damage or movement restriction in your ankle joint.
You must protect your ankle from further injury as well. This will help you avoid reinjuring the ankle again. It is important to wear an ankle brace or wrap to help support the ankle while it heals. The wrap will provide support and protection for your ankle. You may even want to consider wrapping your ankle before every physical activity you engage in.
You should also ice the injured area two to three times per day for up to 20 minutes at a time to help reduce swelling and inflammation.
As far as exercise goes, you should consult your physician or physical therapist to determine what types of exercises are best for you in your particular situation. In most cases, you should avoid strenuous exercise for the first few weeks after injury. Once your ankle is feeling better and your doctor clears you for activity, you may engage in some low impact activities such as swimming or light jogging. This will help improve blood flow and increase strength in your foot and lower leg muscles.
If you have not already been doing so, you should begin icing your ankle after every activity to prevent swelling and tissue damage. Taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication can also help reduce any swelling and inflammation that may occur. You may also want to speak with your physician about taking a daily vitamin or antioxidant supplement to promote quicker healing and reduce any free radical damage.
When Can I Return to My Normal Activities?
It is usually best to wait until your ankle has completely healed before returning to any high-impact or strenuous activities. This could take several weeks or months depending on the severity of your injury. Your doctor or physical therapist can give you more specific information regarding your particular situation.
How Do I Avoid Further Injury?
Avoiding reinjury is the best way to prevent future ankle sprains. A good ankle brace or wrap will help provide support and protection for your ankle. You should also ice your ankle after any physical activity to help reduce swelling and inflammation. As we mentioned earlier, it is also important to completely rest your ankle for several weeks or months to give the damaged ligaments and muscles an opportunity to heal.
Just because you have had one ankle sprain doesn’t mean that you are more prone to sprain that ankle again. Ligaments and tendons do get stronger as they heal. However, this is not always the case so be sure to continue wearing your ankle brace whenever you are engaged in physical activity.
Even if you have not sprained your ankle, an ankle brace can provide the extra support you need to prevent future sprains. You should also continue to include physical activity in your exercise routine. It will help improve overall health and strengthen muscles that surround your ankles.
If you have any additional questions or concerns, feel free to contact your physician or seek out the services of a physical therapist who can give you further advice and information on how to proceed.
Learn more about Ankle Sprains.
Sources & references used in this article:
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