Ankle Sprain Causes, Support and Treatments
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If you have suffered an ankle sprain before, you will know they are very painful. Ankle sprains can occur in different ways. They can happen while simply walking or while performing sports where running is involved. Myself, I have suffered a very painful experience last year with a severe left ankle sprain. This sprain took a long time to heal and my lifestyle was perturbed greatly. Most ankle sprains are the result of your ankle rolling inward or twisting. These movements will be caused by running especially in a stop and go situation or by umping. Volleyball players will often sprain ankles when jumping at the net to spike or to block a spike, as an example.
Ankle Sprain Definition
A ligament consists of strands and tissue fibers all together aimed at providing a structure, stability and strength to a particular joint of your upper and lower limbs. Damage to ligaments and inner soft tissues will ensue. In some cases a sprained ankle will also trigger a hairline fracture. When an ankle sprain occur, the ligament tissues will likely tear partially or completely. The amount of ligaments and the particular ligaments that are torn will determinate which degree is your sprained ankle.
When you sprain your ankle, you will definitely know it. In my case, I was playing floor hockey and my ankle rolled inward. I felt a pop in my ankle similar to a fracture and a sharp pain quickly followed. Swelling is instant to the trauma suffered by the rupture. The pop is due to the rupture of the ligaments and soft tissues. When it is a minor sprain, the individual will be able to walk on it cautiously. All ankle sprains should be examined a by a doctor and a x-ray performed to see if there is a fracture. Immediate response to an ankle sprain is to alleviate any weight to be put on the foot. A person should also avoid to remove the running shoe especially, if it is a high-ankle sports shoe. If there is extensive swelling, keep the show until seen by a doctor. You may see some bruising on the outer side of the injured foot. This bruising is caused by ruptured blood vessels when the sprain took place.
What are the causes of an ankle sprain?
As mentioned above, an ankle sprain is caused when your ankle twists or rolls inward or outward. A weak ankle will often be at the source of a sprained ankle.
Ankle sprains are often sees in sports injuries. Movements where excessive running is seen whether as a stop and go or different directions will cause the ankle to roll (inward or outward). Sports such as basketball, ball hockey, volleyball and soccer are the perfect examples where these ankle sprains will occur.
Biomechanical conditions can also be a cause for ankle sprains. Biomechanical conditions are abnormalities in a person’s walking habits. Often seen, with people with having feet inclined inward and poor feet stability. This can be corrected with a custom fit orthotics inserted in a new pair of shoes. In stabilizing the foot with the orthotics, the person’s feet are balanced and the walking action is pushed in a forward movement instead of sideways.
High-Heeled shoes (stilettos) are also a cause for ankle sprains. The sprain is caused when this actually shortening the Achilles tendon. As soon as the person initiates the running action with a flatter shoe a greater tension is put on the Achilles tendon. This tension can also cause ankle sprains.
What are the treatments for ankle sprains?
Ankle sprains are always treated in the same manner initially. Anybody suffering from an ankle sprain should apply the R.I.C.E principle immediately. R.I.C.E. consists of Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Bing seen by a doctor immediately is also paramount. He / She will look at a possible x-ray to determine if there is also a fracture.
Sprained ankles can take from 4 to 8 weeks before it is back to normal. In some severe cases and depending on the age of the individual, sprained ankles can last for much longer. In my case it lasted up to a year.
Once healed, the person suffering from a sprained ankle need to rework, the stability of the ankle, its strength and its bio-mechanic. Physiotherapy will help to restore these components. It is also important to address the root case of the sprain, so it doesn’t re-occur in the future. For example, you may want to acquire new orthotics and a new pair of shoes if it is a bio-mechanic problem. One pair of orthotics that is great for rectifying bio-mechanic issues is the LightStep Perfect Balance Orthotic Insole. or the Alex Orthopedic 9700-L Ankle-Foot Orthotics.
Protecting the Sprained Ankle
When returning to normal activities it ill be important to protect the ankle until it has regained its strength, stability and structure. Myself, I use the Med Spec ASO Ankle Stabiliser for ankle injuries, ankle sprains or strains – Black. It is not expensive and it has my full confidence when running. I have a large size and would recommend you make sure you have the right size when getting one. Some of my volleyball friends who also sprained their ankle in the past are using the full protection ASO Speed Lacer Ankle Brace – Easy to apply brace for ankle strains, ankle sprains and ankle instabilities. (Large, Black) by MedSped. It is abit more pricey, but if you are active, you don’t want to re-injure the same ankle. So in this case, te price my be well worth it.
Other good brace for your ankles are: ZAMST 470613 A2-DX Left Ankle Brace, Black, Large, and the Webly Ankle Orthosis – Medium – Powerful lace up support for ankle sprains, strains and injuries. (Medium) by Hely & Weber. Again, let me reemphasize that the protection is well worth the price. A ankle sprain leaves your ankle weaker and more prone to be sprained again. This is common in severe sprained cases.
I hope this article helps you and brings you back on track if you have suffered an ankle sprain. They are not fun experiences and they can be very painful. Depending on the severity, an ankle sprain can take a very long time to heal.
Feel free to comment below in our comment field area on any recommendations for an ankle sprain treatment or how you treated your own sprains.