Sprained Ankles – The Basics

A sprained ankle is one of the most common sporting injuries to occur. Most of us will have suffered from a sprained ankle at one time or another, but what exactly are they and how can we go about treating them?

As mentioned, sprained ankles often occur when playing sports, but in particular any sport that involves running. The ankle is an incredibly complex joint that is supported by a number of ligaments When a person loads their weight onto their ankle in an unusual manner, and it moves it beyond its usual range of motion, it can damage those ligaments which causes a sprain.

The most common example of this is when a person turns too sharply, or lands on their foot wrong, and ‘rolls’ their weight onto the outside of the foot, damaging or tearing the ligaments.

What are the symptoms?

There are 3 grades of ankle sprain – 1, 2 and 3, 1 being the least painful and 3 being the worst. Common symptoms of a sprained ankle include:

  • Pain when using your ankle
  • Tenderness when touching it
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Restricted range of motion
  • Instability
  • A ‘popping’ sound or sensation at the time of the injury

Home Treatments

It is important to visit a doctor or podiatrist as soon as possible after spraining your ankle so they can determine the severity of the sprain and from there recommend the best possible treatment. However, there are a few things that you can do to help speed up the healing process.

  • Use a brace or support to help protect the ankle, thus lessening the chance of further damage.
  • After a few days begin the elevate the foot (initially the swelling can aid with healing).
  • Take anti-inflammatories (ibuprofen) again, after a few days.
  • Hot and cold treatment (2 minutes submerged in ice water, 1 minute under a hot water bottle).

But, as with a lot of sporting injuries, one of the best things you can do is simply rest the injury, and give it chance to heal.

How long does healing take?

Depending on the severity of the sprain, recovery can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months, with swelling lasting around 6-8 weeks. If you find that the pain is not lessening, or healing is taking longer than expected then it is vital that you visit a professional, such as a chiropractor or GP, as you may have further issues that need treatment, such a loose cartilage aggravating the joint.

If you are struggling with a sprained ankle then the team at Morley Chiropractic clinic, based just outside of Leeds, are more than equipped to help. As well as having years of experience in treating these issues, and a number of professional qualifications, most of the staff seriously pursue sports and understand the process that people go through when suffering from a sporting injury.

To find out more about how we can help, simply call us on 0113 2383693 or contact us here.


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