If you've ever played basketball, football, tennis, racquetball, soccer or other sports that require rapid change of direction and explosive movement, chances are that you're had an ankle sprain at one time or another. However, athletes aren't the only people who sprain their ankles. This is a common condition that can happen in everyday life to anyone. If you step awkwardly or step on an object left on the floor, it is possible to sprain your ankle. If a heel snaps as you're walking, you may sprain your ankle.
While all ankle sprains hurt to some degree, not all of them are the same. Some can be mild, requiring only minimal treatment, while others can be severe and require prompt medical attention. Serious angle sprains, particularly among competitive athletes, may require surgical solutions to repair the damaged ligaments. As with any physical injury, proper care is paramount to prevent a minor injury from becoming a chronic problem.
Primary symptoms of ankle sprains are pain following a twist or injury, swelling, and bruising. If you sprain your ankle, you should elevate your foot and apply ice immediately to reduce swelling. Try and keep as much weight off your sprained ankle as you can. Compressive bandages are an ally in healing an injured ankle through immobilizing the injury throughout the healing process.
While completely preventing an ankle sprain may be impossible – depending on level of activity – there are steps you can take to minimize your chance of suffering this problematic injury. Right off the bat it is important that you wear comfortable, well-fitted shoes. Uncomfortable footwear is a big culprit for a myriad of foot and ankle related problems. Another important step you can take to prevent this type of frustrating injury is to add strength, balance and flexibility exercises to your workout routine. If you're not very active, but want to guard against an ankle sprain, there are non-stressful, low-impact exercises that can strengthen the area.
If you think that you may have sprained your ankle, follow the immediate treatment steps listed above. Please to not hesitate to call and set up an appointment. At East Ocean Podiatry, we pride ourselves on the successful diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of conditions affecting the lower legs, ankles and feet.