How To Deal With Ankle Sprains
Emagine a regular day, you are going about your business, everything is going according to plan and then you take a wrong step and feel your ankle and leg turn in a way that doesn’t feel natural or comfortable, in fact quite the opposite, it’s awkward and painful. Then you are forced to stop in your tracks, because of what started as a small misstep has led to a very painful sprained ankle. A sprained ankle, as in the situation described above, happens when the ligaments in the ankle are forced beyond their normal range of motion due to an awkward turn, twist, or roll of the ankle when walking or running. The injury that results is either a tear or a stretch of the ligament tissue that supports and stabilizes the ankle bones. Most of the injuries happen on the outer side of the ankle. A sprained ankle is a common and mostly minor injury, however, there are instances when the sprain can be quite severe or in instances of multiple sprains when the injury can cause long-term joint problems such as pain and weakness. It is for this reason that treating a sprained ankle in time is essential for preventing lifelong problems such as:
- Chronic ankle pain
- Chronic ankle joint instability
- Arthritis in the ankle joint
Treatment depends on the severity of the sprained ankle, ranging from mild to severe ankle damage. Mild sprain typically involves some tenderness, swelling, and stiffness but is stable with just a little pain when pressure is put on the ankle. Medium sprain has tenderness, swelling, and bruising, as well as being painful while walking. A serious injury would involve a higher level of the above symptoms plus an unstable ankle joint and inability to move because of weakness and pain in the ankle.
The below are the symptoms to look out for in order to determine how bad the injury is, and whether self-care or a more intensive treatment as determined by a doctor is necessary:
- The severity of the pain
- Tenderness, swelling, bruising
- How restricted is the range of motion
- The extent of ankle instability
- Sensation and sound at the time of injury
If any of the above are significant, that is the sign that a doctor’s visit may be required, in fact, it may signal a bigger issue such as a broken bone or severely damaged ligament. For serious ankle sprains your doctor will prescribe specific treatments. The treatment for mild or medium ankle sprains resembles those for most other joint and muscle injuries: Start of with RICE: Rest the ankle, Ice for the first few days, every 1-2 hours for 10-20 minutes, Compression – tighten the ankle area for extra support for the first day or so, and finally Elevations – try to keep your ankle above your head for a couple of hours a day for the first few days. The RICE method will assist in the initial healing of the injury. Manage the pain: one may try over-the-counter medications for some pain relief. Another, potentially better option, maybelaser energy treatment therapy, as it not only helps relieve the pain but also helps treat and heal the injury. One such treatment is Solio Alfa Plus therapy device, it emits 3 powerful energies: RF, IR, and LLLT directed at the site of the pain, thereby treating the various symptoms and causes of the pain. Sensory nerve cells get blocked, thereby eliminating or significantly reducing pain, swelling is reduced through increased blood circulation, and collagen production is increased causing the shrinking and tightening of cells which improves joint stability and healing. The treatment is able to eliminate pain and also heal the underlying problem which intern reduces the pain as well. Continue with Rehabilitation: specific exercises are needed to help the ligaments heal properly otherwise, it may not heal properly and will become unstable and weak causing chronic pain problems, and will be highly likely to get reinjured. So get professional help while holding off on regular physical activity that puts stress on your ankle, until you no longer feel pain in the ankle when putting pressure on it, such as jumping on it.