An ankle sprain is the most common injury to the ankle and the long term consequences of an ankle sprain is a common cause of chronic ankle pain. The ankle is a joint which is formed by the tibia and fibula (bones above the ankle in the foreleg) and the talus (below the ankle joint). The ankle joint allows for the upwards (dorsiflexion) and downwards (plantarflexion) motion. The end of the shin bone (tibia) forms the inner bony prominence of the ankle called the medial malleolus. The outer bony prominence is called the lateral malleolus and is formed by the small outer bone in the foreleg called the fibula.Sprained ankles often result from a fall, a sudden twist, or a blow that forces the ankle joint out of its normal position.
Ankle sprains commonly occur while participating in sports, wearing inappropriate shoes, or walking or running on an uneven surface. Athletic events when one player steps on another player. Sometimes ankle sprains occur because of weak ankles, a condition that some people are born with. Previous ankle or
foot injuries can also weaken the ankle and lead to sprains. When an ankle is injured with a sprain, tissue injury and the resulting inflammation occur. Blood vessels become “leaky” and allow fluid to ooze into the soft tissue surrounding the joint. White blood cells responsible for inflammation migrate to the area, and blood flow increases as well. Swelling because of increased fluid in the tissue is sometimes severe. Redness and warmth caused by increased blood flow to the area.
Early treatment of a sprained ankle can help to speed recovery and minimize the symptoms. Applying ice to the injury will do more for most people than medications. Anti–inflammatory pain medications will reduce the pain and combat the swelling. Several are available over–the–counter, such as ibuprofen (Motrin IB and Advil) and naproxen (Aleve or Naprosyn). Use compression when elevating the ankle sprain in early treatment. Using an Ace bandage, wrap the ankle from the toes all the way up to the top of the calf muscle, overlapping the elastic wrap by one-half of the width of the wrap. Take a few days off of your feet. You don’t have to be inactive, but be sure the ankle is being rested. Avoid platform soles, high heels, and any shoes that throw the foot off balance.
Ankle Sprains Treatment Tips
1. Ice is the best treatment. Applying ice to the injury will do more for most people than medications.
2. Do not apply ice directly to the skin. Use a towel between the ice and the injury, or use an ice bag.
3. Try heel walking; wear flat shoes; stand on your heels and keep your toes high off the ground.
4. Avoid platform soles, high heels, and any shoes that throw the foot off balance.
5. Rest prevents further injury and avoids stress on already inflamed tissue.
6. Elevation will help the body absorb fluid that has leaked into the tissue.