Causes of ankle sprains
Ankle injuries are quite common and tend to take place in everyday life due to small missteps. Here are a few common causes that can lead to a sprained ankle:
- Walking or exercising on an uneven surface, such as rough unmade roads
- Falling in an unnatural position that twists your ankle
- Landing awkwardly on your foot after a jump
- Someone else stepping down on your foot
- Participating in certain sports such as running, kho-kho, football, tennis.
Symptoms of ankle sprains:
If you’ve twisted your foot and are experiencing pain, you might be dealing with a sprained ankle. If your symptoms are persistent with the ones in this list, seek help from a health care practitioner:
- Sharp pain when putting weight on the affected foot
- Popping sound or sensation at the time of the accident
- A visible bruise
- Immobility or restricted mobility
- Skin discolouration
A physical exam by a trained physician can quickly help determine the scale of the injury and the status of your ligaments. During the check-up, your doctor may move your ankle to check on your range of mobility. Imaging tests such as an X-Ray or MRI may be done as a precaution to rule out a bone fracture. An MRI uses magnetic fields and radio waves to highlight the position of ligaments, tendons and cartilage in the foot and ankles. It can also detect stress fractures or tendon injuries which are sometimes confused with an ankle sprain due to coinciding symptoms.
Ankle sprains are diagnosed on a 3-grade scale of increasing intensity. Here are the 3 different grades and what they imply
- Grade 1
Stretching or slight tear of the ligament. Mild tenderness, swelling and stiffness. Patient is able to walk with minimal pain.
- Grade 2
Incomplete tear of a ligament. Moderate pain, swelling, bruising and instability. Patients experience pain when walking as weight is put on the ankle.
- Grade 3
Complete tear of the ligament. Severe swelling and bruising. Ankle is unstable and the patient is unable to walk.
Treatment for ankle sprains:
Most ankle sprains can be treated with simple home treatments as recommended by your doctor.
The RICE home treatment procedure is recommended for minimizing damage after your injury.
R- Rest your ankle and do not put weight on it or try to walk unnecessarily
I- Ice should be applied for 20 minutes once every 2 hours. Do not apply the ice directly, instead, use an ice pack or wrap a few cubes in a hand towel.
C- Compression is key. Use dressings, bandages or an ankle brace to stabilize and support your ankle.
E- Elevate your ankle above your chest as often as possible in the first 24 hours.
Stay off your ankle until the pain subsides. Use over the counter pain relievers to reduce pain and swelling. Crutches can be used to make your way around.
An ankle brace is vital to support and compress your ankle and ensure a faster recovery time. Hansaplast’s ankle brace provides optimum strength, protection and support. It has a universal design made to fit both your left and your right ankle comfortably. Its inlays reduce impact and offer extra comfort. You may need to wear it for 2-6 weeks. After the ankle has healed, ankle exercises are recommended to keep your ankle limber.
Read more: Benefits of Ankle Brace for Athletes