It’s estimated that in the USA, 25,000 people sprain their ankle every day – ouch! Whether it was during a heated game of basketball, or you were just stepping off the curb and took a spill, it’s very likely that you’ve sprained your ankle at some point.
An ankle sprain occurs when you twist or force your ankle bones in an unnatural direction, causing the ligaments surrounding your ankle bones to overstretch or tear. A sprained ankle comes with plenty of pain and a swollen and bruised joint – you’ll know when you’ve sprained it. Often ankle sprains happen repeatedly, bringing about unstable joints, an unnatural gait, and poor balance.
What causes ankle sprains?
Ankle sprains often occur during sports and can happen to both professional or amateur athletes. A whopping 45% of all professional athletic injuries are ankle sprains. Repeated jumping, like in basketball, puts you at a great risk for a sprain. Dancers also often suffer ankle sprains.
It’s not only athletes who are prone to ankle injuries though! If you wear high heels or elevated platform shoes, you are increasing your risk factor. Ankle sprains can also occur easily if you’re walking a dog who is pulling hard on a leash, walking along an uneven surface, or even misjudging a step up a stair or off a curb.
You Don’t Have to Strain to Prevent a Sprain
As with any condition, prevention is the best way to avoid a recurring issue:
- If you’re playing any sport, ensure you have the correct gear. Make sure your shoes fit well and are appropriate for the activity you’re partaking in.
- Stretch it out! It’s especially important to stretch the areas like your hips, legs, and torso to increase flexibility in those places.
- Work out your ankle muscles. Wrap a towel or a small, light weight cloth around your ankle or foot and rotate it in all directions.
- Do light exercises daily to increase your balance. Even practicing standing on one foot daily with your eyes closed can increase your balance.
- Don’t overdo it. Build up exercise regimens slowly and carefully. Practice regularly and your skills will gradually increase.
- Listen to your body. If you are experiencing any pain in your ankle, or anywhere in your body, during or after exercise, it’s time to take a rest.
Treating Your Sprain
Ankle sprains are definitely not an injury that can be “walked off.” Once you sprain your ankle, immediately take your weight off that foot and stop the activity you’re engaged in. The first steps to treatment are in the acronym R.I.C.E.: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
If swelling and pain continues, it’s time to call Connecticut Foot Care Centers, LLC for an exam. Our friendly and professional team of podiatrists use state of the art technology and keep up with the latest foot health trends to prevent and treat many podiatric issues. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment at one of our six conveniently located offices.