Almost everyone has experienced the aching pain that comes after they sprain their ankle. The area seems to swell up immediately and walking can be near impossible with the loss of stability in the entire leg.
Foot and ankle conditions commonly affect more than just the bones and tissues they’re located in, as the biomechanical problems associated commonly extend upward through the entire body.
Discrepancies in pressure distribution often lead to long-lasting or even permanent problems. To take care of an ankle sprain before it develops into a more serious concern, contact our Waukesha office immediately after the incident that caused it.
What is a sprain?
As the sprain is acquired the ankle is typically twisting or stretching in an unnatural direction, causing the ligaments of the ankle to stretch or tear beyond their normal capacity. With this action, many patients will experience pain, instability, and inflammation of the afflicted tissues. This problem is not always a minor injury; some individuals develop permanent joint pains and weaknesses that will make future sprains more likely.
What are the symptoms of an ankle sprain?
Most of the signs of a sprain in the ankle are detected immediately after the injury that caused them. During the trauma that led to this injury, patients may even hear a pop or clicking noise that denotes a more severe injury. Individuals will experience tenderness of the ligaments and will notice swelling or bruising in the ankle. Attempting to move the foot and putting weight on it will be painful and should be avoided if at all possible. To discern the level of the damage and prescribe the best treatment method our staff will ask how the injury occurred. Diagnostic procedures like X-rays are often utilized to view the extent of the injury inside the body.
How is this ankle problem caused?
Ankle sprains commonly occur as the body rapidly shifts between placements. The sudden twisting or jerking of the ligaments on the outer edge of the ankle can be enough to stretch or tear them. As this action is commonly caused by sports related trauma, this condition is well known amongst athletes. The severity of this condition is commonly differentiated by the level of trauma done to the ankle at the time of the injury.
How should a sprain be treated?
Most of the treatments available for ankle sprains attempt to reduce the pressure on the ankle by minimizing swelling in the joint. In addition to these methods, the ankle should also be braced whenever possible to limit movement.
The R.I.C.E. method:
- Rest –Keeping off of the ankle will aid in the reduced inflammation and swelling of the tissue
- Ice –Icing the injury also aids in the reduction of swelling and helps to alleviate pain.
- Compression –This is yet another method to help reduce to swelling of the affected area.
- Elevation –Elevating the ankle not only helps to reduce blood flow to the inflamed area but can also prevent bruising.
As a patient attempts to return to normal activity, there are various strength and stability training exercises that can help. In the most severe cases, surgery may be required to reattach the ligaments in the ankle.
The actions you take immediately following a sprain directly contribute to the recovery time and methods necessary in treatment. Don’t let this ankle condition become too severe.