The ankle is an important part of the body for movement. This is the weight bearing part which is the meeting point of three bones. The fibula and tibia of lower leg and talus of the foot join together to create the ankle. Ligaments and strong bands of tissues keep the bones together. Also, tendons keep the muscles attached to the bones. This helps the ankle to move freely. These structures are very vulnerable. Any of the structures can get injured.
It is common for a person to experience twisting in the ankle. However, every twist is not that simple. In case the ankle gets swollen and painful after the twist, you might have a case of ankle sprain. Not every sprained ankle is a minor injury. In some cases, people develop long term pain due to the sprain.
What is Ankle Sprain?
An injury which affects a band that connects two or more bones is called sprain. The band is called ligament. The sprain usually occurs when the ankle is forced to move outside the usual range. In most cases, ankle sprain heals within a week. However, some sprains are severe and one may liken the pain to a fracture. In such cases, even the health professionals find it difficult to say the difference between the two injuries.
To be more detailed, a sprain is a serious injury to the ligament. It is known that the ligaments are strong, yet sometimes these areas can be impacted adversely. Ligaments at the side of the ankle are the commonly injured parts of the body.
The damaged ligament can cause inflammation, bleeding and swelling. The bleeding shows as the bruise around the affected area. The severity of the damage depends on the extent of the damage the ligament has gone through. it also depends on the fact whether the ankle has been unstable due to the stretch. The joint becomes unstable due to the lack of support from the injured ligament.
High Ankle Sprain
In high ankle sprain, the muscle over the ankle joint gets torn. The ligament joins the two bones. Such spraining is commonly seen in people who are into sports including skiing or football. In these sports the athletes go over their ankles at speed. When the ankle sprain is high, it takes time to get healed. The recovery process becomes lengthier due to the severity of the injury.
Doctors suspect high sprain when it takes longer than six weeks for the injury to heal.
Treatment for Ankle Sprain
Treatment of ankle sprain focuses on the task of keeping the swelling or the ache at the minimum level. The treatment also tries to help the patients to use the ankle joints as quickly as possible. The damaged ankle gets healed by their own. However, sometimes when the sprain is nasty, it leaves a scar behind.
The proper treatment of sprain is described as PRICE – protect, rest, ice, compression and elevation, while avoiding HARM – heat, alcohol, running and message.
Protecting the affected area is very important so that no further injury can get it more damaged. To keep it safe, you need to use ankle support or bandage. At least 48 hours resting is needed for the affected area to heal. Ice must be applied in regular intervals. It is advisable to apply ice right after the injury. Compression keeps the swelling under control. It is the reason why people are advised to keep the sprained area bandaged. Elevation too keeps the swelling under control. If you keep your feet up it will help minimizing the ache too.
For 72 hours after the injury, it is advisable to stay away from heat or alcohol. Heat can cause blood flow. This is the reason heat must be avoided when treating sprained ankle. Similarly, alcohol too must be avoided as alcohol causes bleeding and decreases the process of healing.
Running though have health benefits, will not help you heal your affected ankle. This might get the damage worse and this is the reason, you must at any cost avoid running with your injury.
Message of any kind must be avoided as well. This increases the bleeding. Swelling might also get worse due to messaging.
It might hurt, but, you must not stop moving your ankle. However, that does not mean you will use pressure on your ankle. Don’t do anything to expose the ankle to more injury. Just focus on moving the ankle in right direction. The doctor will be able to help in this matter.
Wearing ankle support helps till the time the symptoms vanish. There are different types of ankle supports available in the market which you can get to keep your ankle out of danger.
Sprained Ankle – Recovery Time
Medication is not needed in case of mild sprain. Such injury takes only a week to heal. However, in case of severe sprain where the muscle gets torn, you might have to take prescribed medication. Such injury takes longer than six weeks to heal.