Today we’re gonna talk about Sprained Ankle.

An ankle sprain is an injury to the tough band of tissue(ligaments) that surround and connect the bones of the leg to the foot. The injury usually happens when you accidentally twist or turn your ankle in an awkward way. This can stretch or tear the ligaments that hold your ankle bones and joints together.

All ligaments have a certain range of motion and boundaries that allow them to stabilize your joints. When the ligaments around your ankle are pushed beyond these boundaries, it causes a sprain. Injuries to these ligaments are most common on the outside of the ankle. The sprain can range from mild to severe depending on how badly the ligament is damaged and how many ligaments are torn or injured.

What are the Symptoms

With a mild strain, the ankle may be tender, swollen and stiff. It can still feel stable and you can walk with hardly any pain. The more serious sprain, could include bruising and tenderness around the ankle and walking is painful. In a severe sprain, the ankle is unstable and may feel wobbly. You can’t walk, because the ankle gives out and may be very painful. You may hear/and or feel something tear, along with a pop or snap.Usually, the pain or swelling you have, the more severe your ankle sprain is and the longer it will take to heal.

How is it Treated

In most cases, you can initially use the RICE approach to treat your ankle. REST – You may need to use crutches until you can walk without pain. ICE – For at least the first 24-72 hours or until the swelling goes down, apply an ice pack for 10-20 minutes every hour during the day. Always keep a thin, damp cloth between the ice and your skin and press the ice pack firmly against all the curves of the affected area. COMPRESSION – An elastic compression wrap(bandage) will help reduce swelling and bruising. You could also use a neoprene ankle support, which also acts as a heat retainer. ELEVATION – Ideally, raise and support the ankle above the level of your heart for 2-3 days, if possible. This also helps reduce swelling and bruising.

If you are not taking any prescription pain relievers, you may want to take over-the-counter pain reliever as advised by your doctor.

What kind of Rehab Programme should you follow?

Rehab exercises can begin soon after the injury. You can try to walk or put weight on your foot. You may need to use crutches until you can walk without pain. Range of motion(ROM) exercises can start 2-3 days after your injury. Firstly, try supporting your leg over a chair with foot hanging over the side. Now draw the letters of the alphabet with your toes, lower then upper case. Do this 2-3 times a day. Also you can move your ankle in circles (10 circles in one direction then 10 circles in the opposite direction). Do 3 times a day. You should flex your foot towards you and extend the foot away from you. Hold each time for 30 seconds, not to the point of pain, just a mild discomfort. You can perform all of theses ROM exercises while the ice is applied.
Strengthening exercises can start when you can weight bear on the foot comfortably and your ROM is near full. Isometric exercises are the easiest to begin with by pushing against a fixed object, internally and externally, with your ankle, holding each time for 10 seconds. Do 10 times each. Once you’ve mastered this, you can progress Isotonic exercises with a resistance band. While seated, place the resistance band around your forefoot. Holding the ends of the band with your hands, gently push away and down and return to your starting point. Do 3 lots of 10. Next exercise, tie the band to a fixed object and wrap the other end around your foot. Now in the extended position, pull toward you as far as you can go, then return to the extended position. Do 3 lots of 10.

Proprioceptive exercise for balance – Stand with your affected leg on a pillow. Hold this position for a count of 10. Repeat 10 times.

How can I prevent an Ankle Strain?

Perform strength exercises. For you ladies, avoiding high heels. Warming up before exercising. Wearing sturdy, quality footwear. When running outdoors, aim for flatter, level surfaces and watch where you’re placing your feet when you run over different terrain.

That’s it for now. If you are suffering from a nagging injury, or want some advice or treatment, feel free to contact me atFuture Bodies gym in Okehampton.

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