Ankle sprains are very common - in fact more than 25,000 Americans endure ankle sprains every day!
This painful injury occurs when the ligaments that attach your ankle bones to the leg bones are torn or stretched too far. Most often the ankle is sprained when the foot is forced onto its side, so the bottom of the foot faces the opposite leg and the outside ligament is severely stretched.
You will know when you have sprained your ankle because of the pain which you'll feel in the ankle and perhaps also in the foot and lower leg. You may also notice swelling and bruising in the area.
An ankle sprain can result from something as simple as stepping the wrong way off a curb. Walking in high heels can put you at risk of a sprain, as can many sports especially those that involve a lot of jumping.
Don't Ignore a Sprained Ankle
Too often sprained ankles are ignored as just the cost of playing sports, and the athletes return prematurely to their usual activities. Just because the pain can be tolerated doesn't mean that the ankle is healed enough to endure sports or even walking.
The danger of ignoring multiple ankle sprains is that the ankle joint can become chronically unstable. This condition can result in poor balance and the individual may alter his gait leading to issues when exercising. When exercising is limited, overall fitness can decline and arthritis can set in.
Sprained ankles need rest and no weight-bearing. Icing the area can help reduce swelling. If the pain and swelling persists, please come in to see us at Palm Beach Orthopaedic Institute. Your injury may need more than ice to bring back full function. Physical therapy can help strengthen the joint and ligaments.
You Can Avoid Chronic Ankle Sprains
Avoid chronic sprains by doing all you can to prevent sprains:
- Always wear proper, quality footwear for each sport.
- Begin exercise programs slowly. Practice your skills carefully before increasing speed and duration.
- Stretch carefully before and after your workout. Look for flexibility especially in the hips, torso and legs.
- Work on your balance with tai chi or specific exercises like standing on your foot with eyes closed.
- Improve ankle strength with exercises. Here's one that builds flexibility too: Wrap a towel around your foot and rotate it in all directions.
We Can Help with Chronic Ankle Instability
Dr. John Schilero, DPM, board certified podiatrist has extensive experience with ankle sprains and all types of foot and ankle injuries. Please call us at 561-694-7776 EXT. 41 to make an appointment at one of our four offices conveniently located in Palm Beach County. You can also request an appointment at the website. Don't let your ankle sprain lead to a chronic problem - call us today!