An ankle sprain is a very common type of ankle injury affecting the ligaments (connective tissues connecting bone to bone for stability) of the ankle. It usually is a result of twisting injury which is often seen in people who play sports, indulge in high-impact activities like skiing, hip-hop dance, etc or people who wear high-heeled shoes most of the time. This twist causes their ligaments to stretch pass their capability thereby causing tearing. Depending on the severity it can be classified in 3 grades.
GRADE 1– Mild damage to the ligament (usually a overstretch) resulting in pain, swelling and discomfort without any instability.
GRADE 2– Moderate damage that the ligament partially tears resulting in pain, swelling and discomfort. Unable to bear weight on the foot.
GRADE 3– complete rupture of the ligament resulting in marked bruising and instability in ankle joint.
- Sports activities that have a high probability of ankle twists like basketball, tennis, skateboarding.
- High impact fitness routines like running on uneven surfaces, hip-hop dancing, Salsa dancing.
- An injury like slipping from stairs or twisting of the foot on high heels.
- The risk increases in case
- You have weak foot and leg muscles.
- You have a flat foot.
- Improper footwear.
- Wearing high heeled shoes.
- Pain around the ankle joint which is throbbing in nature.
- Sensitivity to touch.
- Swelling around the ankle joint.
- Limited ankle joint movement.
- Bruising around the joint can be present depending on the severity.
- Inability to bear direct weight on the ankle.
- X-RAY- to rule out a fracture.
- Physical Examination- to assess ROM and see whether it's an Inversion (lateral) ankle sprain or eversion (medial) ankle sprain.
- MRI- in case the doctor suspects grade 3 injury to rule out the need of surgery.
- Wearing a brace (ankle stirrup) to support your ankle.
- Elevating your foot (pillows underneath) to reduce the swelling.
- Cold packs for 10-15 mins every 4 hours to manage inflammation and swelling.
- Ultrasonic therapy is of great help in regenerating torn ligaments.
- Avoid putting weight on your ankle use crutches in case it's an emergency.
- For pain management, OTC drugs like pain killers and muscle relaxants can be taken.
- Kinesiotaping helps drain swelling, supports the ankle joint, and speeds up your recovery.
- Manual therapy do wonders in grade 1 sprains and some benefits in grade 2 sprain as well.
- Once pain and inflammation settle proper rehabilitation is necessary to avoid recurrence. This is done with proper strength training and balance training protocols.
- Use of insoles to minimize the risk of further injuries.
- In cases not responding to conservative management do speak with your doctor regarding surgery.
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We start with the right diagnostics, and then proceed to initial pain relief and structural corrections to treat the condition of the root cause of the ailment.