In the athletic world, sports can be a fun way to pass time. However, it is common knowledge that during physical activity, your body can get strained, leading to common ankle sprains. These injuries are minor and are easily treatable but understanding the implications and symptoms that are associated with ankle sprains will help you ensure that it does not become a bigger injury.
Beyond at-home remedies, any type of sports injuries, whether it be as minor as a sprain or as major as a fracture, physiotherapists are able to provide quality care and assistance. At our Richmond Hill location, our physiotherapists are dedicated to getting you back up on your feet as safely and quickly as possible because we know how important the athletic lifestyle is.
Put your physical health first, understanding the symptoms and process of a sprain so that if it occurs, you have working knowledge of what to do before seeing your physiotherapist.
What is an Ankle Sprain?
An ankle sprain is a common sports injury that can occur when your ankle is stretched more than usual. This often weakens the ligaments that hold your bones together and so when that is damaged, the stability of the joint is compromised. Your ankle is the least stable when your foot is down which is why most ankle sprain injuries happen when you are on your feet.
There are two different types of sprains: inversion injury and eversion injury. Inversion injuries happen when the foot rolls inwards whereas eversion injuries happen when your foot rolls outwards. Often, the eversion sprains take a longer time to rehabilitate.
How do Ankle Sprains Occur?
If you have a previous history of getting injured, it is common to get injured in the same area again. This happens because the strength and integrity of the muscles and ligaments are compromised, affecting your future use of them until they fully heal. Other risk factors that can contribute to your ankle sprains can be due to poor balance, sudden changes in direction, age, health condition, and inadequate warm up. Ensuring that you have appropriate footwear and ankle support is also part of the risks that can occur.
What level of Ankle Sprains do I have?
Your ankle sprain can be categorized in three different grades:
- Grade 1: mild swelling and tenderness with little to no impact on function
- Grade 2: moderate swelling, pain, and impact on function – you have a reduced range of movement and instability of the joint
- Grade 3: large swelling, loss of function and marked instability at the joint
What type of Symptoms can be seen?
Common symptoms include pain, bruising, swelling, and difficulty to bear weight. The pain in your ankles will most likely be the worst in the first couple of days. In severe cases, you will feel a significant instability in your ankle joint — this can sometimes lead to fractures if not taken care of. At this point, the level of pain you are experiencing may indicate the need to get an x-ray to determine if you have broken any bones.
What is the process of a Physiotherapy Treatment?
A physiotherapist will be able to assess the possibility of your fractures as well as the level of instability time after time. The common process will include looking at your loss of range of motion, reduced strength, reduced proprioception, and any additional injuries as a result of your initial sprain.
Your treatment is focused on protecting the sprain and encouraging the right amount of activity to stimulate efficient healing. The classic ice, compression, elevation method should be used for the first 48 hours after injury as an at-home remedy.
How should I protect my ankle when healing?
Any type of taping, braces, or crutches should be used if needed. Depending on the individual, there may need to be further restriction of movement so that it can heal. Any type of activities that invite pain should be avoided and the amount of walking you do should be limited.
How long does it take to heal your Ankle Sprain?
Depending on the injury, some ankle sprains may take longer to heal than others. On average, it takes about 6 weeks. After healing, you should be doing specific exercises advised by your physiotherapist to improve flexibility and strength. This whole process needs to be completed from start to end so that you encourage the best healing for your ankle.
If you are experiencing an ankle sprain, these are some of the symptoms and at-home remedies so that you are able to identify from the initial impact. Make sure that you contact your physiotherapist so that you are able to get a professional’s opinion and advice on how to effectively heal. Contact our team today to book an appointment.