Ankle sprain – What is it and How to Treat it

The ankle sprain is a ligament injury is extremely common. Also called a twist of the ankle, this injury affects mainly athletes but can also occur in the common activities of the daily life of all people. Therefore, it is essential to know what is this injury, as well as know how to treat the injury in the short and in the long term.

what is Ankle Sprain?

The ankle sprain is an injury that affects the ligaments of the complex ankle joint. The injury occurs in two primary ways. The most common, known as inversion, happens when the foot if you warp to the inside, forcing the joint to the outside.

The most rare is the eversion. In this case, the foot if you warp out, forcing the joint to the inside. The eversion has less chance of happening because the ligaments that affects are more resistant. If it occurs, however, it is a more serious injury than the reverse.

This movements occur for several reasons. Many athletes suffer the injury when participating in sports that involve races, jumps or bends, abrupt, but all people are subject to injury. Walking on uneven ground is a factor of risk, intensified by the use of high-heeled shoes.

In any of the two ways, occur ruptures partial or total of the ligaments of the ankle.

Levels of severity and Symptoms of Ankle Sprain

The symptoms of a sprained ankle depend on the level of severity of the injury, and classified in three degrees. Depending on the intensity of damage to the ligaments, there are different levels of pain, swelling, bruising and bleeding under the skin. In addition, there is difficulty walking.

  • Grade 1 (Sprain Minor): In the sprain mild, the ligaments are stretched, but not enough to break through. In this way, the pain is not so intense, and there is a mild swelling. There is usually not much trouble to walk.
  • Grade 2 (Sprain Moderate): In the sprain moderate there is a partial tear of the ligaments. There is, therefore, an inflammation more intense accompanied by frequent bruising. The pain is stronger than in the sprain mild, as well as the swelling, so that walking becomes difficult.
  • 3rd Degree (Sprain Severe): To sprain severe is characterized by a total break of the ligaments, which causes a strong swelling and often bleeding under the skin. The pain is intense and the ankle becomes completely unstable, so that it is impossible to walk.
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How to treat Ankle Sprain?

The treatment of ankle sprain should begin as soon as the injury is identified. The treatment of simple cases is very similar to that recommended for distenções muscle, following the same general lines of Protection, Rest, Cooling, Compression, and Elevation.

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  • Protection: it Is recommended to involve the ankle with something soft, so as to avoid impacts painful that may make the injury more serious. This measurement is especially important at the beginning of the treatment.
  • Standby: The home is recommended in all cases, and should be abundant. The most important is to avoid supporting the own weight on the ankle, but other movements should also be avoided. As the injury is recovering, the movements should be resumed gradually: first only moving the ankle, only after standing on it. Then, you can-if you try to walk. For all these activities, learn to listen to your body: if the activity is painful, it is very likely harmful, so it is recommended to extend the rest for some more time until the next attempt.
  • Cooling: To relieve pain and swelling you can apply ice on the affected area. The cooling is also effective in decrease the inflammation and internal bleeding. The application must be made for up to 20 minutes, following an interval of at least one hour between applications. Can be used a towel or a plastic bag can be used to engage the ice so as to avoid the skin to be damaged by the intense cold.
  • Compression: Wrap the ankle with a fabric or an elastic bandage to compress it helps reduce the swelling. You must take care, however, not to compress the ankle too. Be aware of the tingling, as well as the reduction of temperature and swelling in the area below the compression: these are clear signs that the compression is excessive.
  • Elevation: Whenever possible, keep your ankle elevated to reduce swelling and internal bleeding. The elevation is appropriate if the ankle is kept above the level of the heart.
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in addition, it is possible to treat the symptoms with anti-inflammatory drugs or analgesics. However, it is not recommended to use excessive or too long of these drugs, since they can hide the symptoms of a severe injury that will not be treated properly. In more severe cases it may be necessary to surgical intervention, but in almost all ankle sprains the body itself is in charge to do the repair of the ligaments. In any case, it is recommended that consultation with an orthopedist.

Possible Complications

ankle sprains moderate and severe can cause damage that will persist even after the recovery of the ligaments.

In the first place, you can occur the formation of a nodule in the ligaments, which in the long run causes inflammation and injury due to the constant rubbing. In this case it is necessary medical attention, even surgery are rarely necessary, anaesthetics and corticoids solve the problem.

The ankle sprain causes a weakening of the ligaments that affects. In this way, a complication often is the recurrence of the injury, since the ligaments weakened they become more vulnerable to disruptions.

Are possible, still, nerve damage and loss of irrigation of the tissues due to damage to the blood vessels. In all of these cases, the ideal conduct of the patient is very clear. If after the recovery period, any of the symptoms persists, it is necessary to seek a doctor as soon as possible.

How to Prevent an Ankle Sprain?

The factors that increase the risk of an ankle sprain are many. Avoid them, or to only be aware of the they can make a difference and avoid the risks and inconvenience of an injury.

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In the first place, it is necessary to ensure the health of the muscles and the ligaments of the ankle and leg. The regular practice of exercises and stretching makes a big difference in this sense, improving the resistance of the ligaments and the response of the muscles.

The development of muscle also has the ability to improve proprioception, that is, the sensitivity of the muscles, tendons, bones, and joints to the balance of the body stationary or in movement. Many times, a deficit of proprioception causes the body to not be able to balance, which increases the risk of injury.

Also very important is the attention to the soil, both in sports and in daily life. Uneven surfaces, found both in the extreme sports as well as in the sidewalks of our cities, risk factors are very evident. The shoe is another essential factor: the use of high shoes, especially the heels, thin and subject to rupture, must be done with attention.

finally, prevention is extremely important for those who have already suffered the twist ever. The risk of a recurrence in the phase immediately following recovery is large, so it is highly recommended to resume gradual physical activities. Devote yourself to the strengthen the ligaments certainly pays off.

have You suffered any ankle sprain? As treated and recovered from this situation? Comment below!

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