A sprained ankle is an ordinary medical condition where one or more of the ligaments of the ankle is torn or partially torn. It is estimated that approximately 25,000 people experience it each day. This condition affects equally athletes and non-athletes, children and adults, and it usually occurs when a person takes part in sports or other physical activities. Sprained ankle results from sudden twisting or turning of the ankle in an awkward way. The unnatural movement stretches and tears the ligaments that normally help to hold the ankle together. The most common type of injury is an inversion sprain where the ankle turns over so the sole of the foot faces inwards, damaging the ligaments on the outside of the ankle.
Symptoms of sprained ankle
Symptoms associated with a sprained ankle usually vary depending on the individual. Another significant component is the force applied to the ankle and the direction in which the ligaments were stretched during the injury. In some cases, patients feel a popping sound, or even feel a slight pop in the ankle at the time of the injury. Usually, they experience a lot of pain, especially when they bear weight on the ankle. Swelling and bruising may also occur. Most commonly, patients will have the restricted range of motion. The swelling and bruising is the natural process the body goes through to protect from the more severe injury and to begin the process of recovery. Minor sprains are usually associated with dull and light pain, while the more serious sprains usually result in long-lasting pain associated with the damage to the ligaments and surrounding muscles.
Causes of sprained ankle
As already mentioned, the sprain happens whenever the ankle is forced to move out of its normal position. Usually, this happens when the ankle is placed on an uneven surface or while it experiences a large force. In most cases, this happens due to the fall that causes an ankle to twist. The injury can also occur when one is landing awkwardly on the foot after jumping or pivoting, or walking on an uneven surface.
Treatment for sprained ankle
The exact treatment depends on the type and severity of one’s injury. In most cases, patients will be advised to take over the counter painkillers to reduce the pain caused by the sprained ankle. Simple ibuprofen is usually very effective in the elimination of this symptom. When the swelling is gone, after a couple of days, patients will normally be advised to get involved in a physical therapy to restore the ankle’s range of motion, strength, flexibility and balance.