Ankle Sprain Treatment

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Separate parts normally don’t stay together on their own. They need something, some stabilizing force, to attach them together and hold them in place. Picture a rubber band binding together all the loose sheets of a newspaper. Separate parts in your body need stabilizers to hold them together, too, or your skeleton would fall apart. This is especially true for joints. When those stabilizers become over-stretched and painful, however, you develop a sprain. Ankle sprains are one of the most common lower limb injuries, and they can leave you unstable and in pain.

What a Sprain Actually Is

Ankle sprains are a painful over-stretching of the ligaments that stabilize and support your ankle joint. Your ankle is made up of three bones. The talus, also called the ankle bone, sits above your heel. The tibia and fibula, which make up your lower leg, rest on top of that. Ligaments keep these bones together while still allowing them to move in certain ways so that your ankle actually functions and supports weight.

Sprains damage these ligaments. Usually a fall, sudden twist, or some other kind of blow forces your foot to one side. This suddenly stretches the connective tissue. Normally, ligaments do have a limited amount of stretch—but if an injury forces them past that point, the tissue gets damaged and severely loosened. Not only are ankle sprains painful, but unstable joints don’t support weight or heavy force very well. They’re prone to giving out when you’re active or putting too much weight on them.

The Severity of the Problem

Ankle sprains can range from mild to serious, depending on the injury. They’re given “grades” to describe them. Grade 1 is a mild injury. The ligaments are overstretched and painful. There’s some swelling and tenderness. Grade 2 is a moderate problem. The ligaments are severely stretched and possibly torn. Your ankle will be quite sore and swollen, and may or may not support weight. Grade 3 is a severe injury. One or more of the ligaments is completely ruptured and your ankle is very swollen. The whole joint will feel unstable and probably won’t support your body.

Treating a Sprain Right

All sprains, whether mild or severe, need proper treatment. The problem is that the ligaments won’t heal correctly if you do not take care of them. This can lead to chronic instability and discomfort. Our specialists at Premier Podiatry Group, P.C. will carefully examine your ankle and check for complications. Once we know the extent of the damage, we’ll help you begin treatment.

First and foremost is rest. You’ll need to stop all activities and avoid walking on that foot for a short period of time. Moderate to severe damage might need a special brace to immobilize the limb as it recovers. Ice the joint to decrease swelling and inflammation. This helps the foot begin the healing process. Compression bandages help with swelling as well. Once the pain is gone, you’ll need to start rehabilitating the ankle. This is a crucial part of the recovery process—it helps you regain your stability and strength. When it comes to advanced treatment options, we utilize MLS Laser Therapy.

Ankle sprains are common, but they can be far more serious than most people realize. Don’t take the damage for granted. The sooner you address the problem, the better your odds for healing successfully. Our team of experts at Premier Podiatry Group, P.C. is happy to help you with this. Just call our office at (814) 472-2660 to make an appointment with us. You can also contact us through our website.