What is an Ankle Sprain
Ankle sprain refers to a medical condition in which the ligaments that help in joining of the leg bones to the bones of the foot region are injured or damaged. This is not a disease or a disorder but is simply a condition which can occur with anyone whose ankle has been twisted or turned in some awkward manner. Various ligaments of our body can be moved in a limited way and there are several boundaries which help in providing stability to the joints. If this restricted movement is hampered and ligaments that join the bones of the ankle are pushed beyond a limited extent, then it causes a sprain.
Causes of the ankle sprain
One of the most common causes of occurrence of ankle sprain is the twisting or rolling of the foot which leads to applying excess force on the ankle joints and displaces it from its original place. Due to some spontaneous or immediate movement of the ligaments, the ankle may get twisted inwards during heavy exercising or physical training. This situation may lead to the stretching of the ligaments or ligaments may even tear apart from each other causing sprain.Due to this condition, the swelling starts appearing on the ankle area and a sharp feeling of painful sensations and discomfort arises when even a little weight is applied on the affected region. Not only ligaments but the tendon, blood vessels surrounding the nearby muscles and even cartilaginous portions may also be affected.Ankle sprain has not to do anything with the age factor. It can occur at any age to anyone be it male or female. Those people who aren’t able to select the appropriate footwear for themselves, those who are more into athletics and walking on rough surfaces are more prone to getting an ankle sprain.
Symptoms of Ankle Sprain
There can be various symptoms of ankle sprain such as firstly the swelling in the affected region takes place due to the inflammation. The blood vessels surrounding the joints can leak due to which the fluid can come out of the tissue region and this will eventually lead to the migration of white blood cells of our body and inflammation takes place.Increase in blood flow at the affected region may be observed and this will eventually lead to the painful sensations.Pain occurs due to the increased sensitivity of the nerves. The pressing of the affected region may cause even more pain and the conditions may become worse if you keep trying to walk or stand by putting weight on the affected region.The affected region may appear red and warmth can be felt. The stiffness in muscles may also be experienced. Also, the discoloration of the skin may take place along with tenderness in joints.
Diagnosis of Ankle Sprain
The ankle sprain can be diagnosed with the help of a physical examination procedure performed by a medical health practitioner or doctors. During this examination, the doctors try to move the ankle joints in order to keep a check on how far you can move your joints.
The doctor may even perform the X-ray in order to rule out the possibility of any bone fracture. And in case the fracture is present, then further MRI scanning is done. It can be done even when there is any serious injurious condition or the damage is severe at the ankle joint (MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging technique through which a strong magnetic field is applied so as to get the detailed images of the different body parts and check any functional or structural abnormality). This MRI scanning will help to predict the seriousness of the injury in a more appropriate manner.
Treatment Procedures Involved in Ankle Sprain
- Medical treatment procedures may involve certain medications such as painkillers and surgery would be required only in serious conditions. Otherwise, the most effective therapeutic intervention in treatment for ankle sprain is physiotherapy.
- Physiotherapy involves the exercises that are performed in order to maintain the flexibility of the ligaments as well as the strengthening of the muscles around ankle joint, once the swelling is gone.Various home treatment procedures can also be performed by following certain steps such as:
- The first stage treatment is commonly known as RICE.
- Take Rest
- Treatment using Ice so as to tackle the elevated blood flow and to reduce the swelling and redness
- Compression can be done using bandages and braces specialised for ankle region
- Elevation of the affected region by keeping the injured region as high as possible so that the absorption of leaked fluid can take place
Physiotherapy Treatment in Ankle Sprain
Ankle Sprain is divided in three stages:
- Stage 1: Inflammatory stage (Recommended as above RICE)
- Stage 2: Pain Control: Pain is controlled by various modalities such as: Ultrasound Therapy, TENSTherapy, LASER Therapy, CONTRAST BATH Therapy, ROM exercises..
- Stage 3: Maturity Stage: Progressive Resistance Exercise, Strengthening Exercises, Proprioception Exercises, Balancing Exercises.
- Well, it has been greatly said that prevention is better than cure. Therefore, each one of us can follow these preventive measures in order to reduce the chances of getting an ankle sprain in the future such which are mentioned below:
- One can wrap the affected area by using a bandage If required, one can wear a brace
- Exercising can be done in order to strengthen the ligaments and the joints.
- High heels should not be worn by the women or girls
- The warm-up should be done properly before doing any heavy exercises.
- One should be cautious while walking on the rough surfaces