You must have had an ankle sprain or at least heard of it – it is an injury to the ligaments surrounding and connecting the bones of the leg to the foot. The injury occurs when you accidentally turn or twist the ankle in an awkward way. This can tear or stretch the ligaments that hold together the joint and bones of your ankle.
What Could Possible Lead to a Sprained Ankle?
A sprain occurs when the ankle joint is forced out of its normal position as a result of the following –
• Awkwardly placing the foot while stepping up and down, jumping or running
• Stepping on an irregular surface
• During a sport or any sort of rigorous physical activity
• An injury while exercising
• Wearing inappropriate footwear
• Discolouration of skin
• Instability in the ankle
• A popping sound or sensation at the time of the injury
• Inability to put pressure on the injured ankle
The symptoms of an ankle sprain are usually self-diagnosable and treatable at home. Nevertheless, you never know how severe the sprain could be. Therefore, consider seeing a doctor when you are having problems with your foot or ankle. A specialist can determine whether the injury is just a sprain or something more serious, with the help of X-ray and MRI.
What is the Treatment for Ankle Sprain?
The line of treatment depends on the type of sprain your ankle sustains. Treatment options include –
• RICE – Many people resort to simple home remedies such as RICE and cold compress to treat a sprained ankle. RICE refers to Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. It is a first-aid cure for strains and sprains.
• Cold Compress – Helps reduce inflammation and dulls pain sensation
• Medications – If you visit an orthopaedic, he/she will prescribe the NSAIDs to ease pain and reduce inflammation and fever
• Braces and Splints – These are applied to aid in stabilizing and protecting the injured joint and its movement
• Elastic Bandage – Stretchy bandages are used to wrap strains and sprains. These provide compression and support during recovery.
Apart from medications and devices, the doctor may also recommend stretching, physiotherapy, and massage. Mild physical movement and exercise will help relax your muscles and restore flexibility and muscle strength.
An ankle sprain cannot be prevented; it can happen anytime. What you can do is consult a specialist and seek treatment to get back to your daily activities.