Thereís a good chance that while playing as a child or stepping
on an uneven surface as an adult you sprained your ankle--some
25,000 people do it every day.
it is an awkward moment when you lose your balance, but the pain
quickly fades away and you go on your way. But the sprain could
be more severe; your ankle might swell and it might hurt too much
to stand on it. If itís a severe sprain, you might have felt a
"pop" when the injury happened.
ankle means one or more ligaments on the outside of your ankle
were stretched or torn. If it is not treated properly, you could
have long-term problems.
likely to sprain your ankle when you have your toes on the ground
and heel up (plantar flexion). This position puts your ankleís
ligaments under tension, making them vulnerable. A sudden force
like landing on an uneven surface may turn your ankle inward (inversion).
When this happens, one, two or three of your ligaments may be
doctor what you were doing when you sprained your ankle. He or
she will examine it and may want an X-ray to make sure no bones
are broken. Depending on how many ligaments are injuried, your
sprain is classified as Grade I, II or III.
your sprained ankle
your sprained ankle properly may prevent chronic pain and instability.
For a Grade I sprain, follow the R.I.C.E. guidelines:
- Rest your
ankle by not walking on it.
- Ice it
to keep the swelling down.
bandages immobilize and support your injury.
your ankle above your heart level for 48 hours.
usually goes down within a few days.
For a Grade
II sprain, follow the R.I.C.E. guidelines and allow more time
for healing. A doctor may immobilize or splint your sprained ankle.
A Grade III
sprain puts you at risk for permanent ankle instability. Surgery
may rarely be needed to repair the damage, especially in competitive
athletes. For severe ankle sprains, your doctor may also consider
treating you with a short leg cast for 2-3 weeks or a cast-brace.
People who sprain their ankle repeatedly may also need surgical
repair to tighten their ligaments.
your sprained ankle
ligament injury needs rehabilitation. Otherwise, your sprained
ankle might not heal completely and you might re-injure it. All
ankle sprains, from mild to severe, require three phases of recovery:
I includes resting, protecting and reducing swelling of your injured
II includes restoring your ankleís flexibility, range of motion
III includes gradually returning to straight-ahead activity and
doing maintenance exercises, followed later by more cutting sports
such as tennis, basketball of football.
can stand on your ankle again, your doctor will prescribe exercise
routines to strengthen your muscles and ligaments, and increase
your flexibility, balance and coordination. Later, you may walk,
jog and run figure eights with your ankle taped or in an air cast.
to complete the rehabilitation program because it makes it less
likely that youíll hurt the same ankle again. If you donít complete
rehabilitation, you could suffer chronic pain, instability and
arthritis in your ankle. If your ankle still hurts, it could mean
that the sprained ligament(s) has not healed right, or that some
other injury also happened.
future sprained ankles, pay attention to your bodyís warning signs
to slow down when you feel pain or fatigue, and stay in shape
with good muscle balance, flexibility and strength in your soft
There are many things people can do to help lower their risk of
sprains and strains:
-Maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet to keep muscles strong.
-Maintain a healthy weight.
-Practice safety measures to help prevent falls (for example,
keep stairways, walkways, yards, and driveways free of clutter,
and salt or sand icy patches in the winter).
-Wear shoes that fit properly.
-Replace athletic shoes as soon as the tread wears out or the
heel wears down on one side.
-Do stretching exercises daily.
-Be in proper physical condition to play a sport.
-Warm up and stretch before participating in any sports or exercise.
-Wear protective equipment when playing.
-Avoid exercising or playing sports when tired or in pain.
-Run on even surfaces.