It can happen to the best of us without any prior notice. Maybe you were simply exercising or doing stunts on your skateboard and if you are as clumsy as I am, merely walking down the street can sprain your ankle. Foot ankle pain is an excruciating kind of pain that would make even the mere task of walking unbearable. If you suspect a sprain in your ankle, consult a doctor immediately as negligence and delayed treatment will worsen the condition of your foot.
What happens when your ankle sprain?
When your foot suddenly twists at an extreme angle, it tears or stretches the ligament that holds your ankle and foot together. Ligaments are tough bands of connective tissues that join bone to bone. As a result, it can also damage the surrounding tendons, cartilage and blood vessels.
It is primarily caused by a twist of the foot during physical activities. But wearing inappropriate shoes such as high heels increase the chances of a sprain.
The symptoms chiefly consist of pain, swelling, and tenderness. You may notice a huge bruise and discoloration happens shortly afterward. It may become impossible to put weight on the sprained ankle. Numbness is also observed in some cases.
The doctor will perform a physical exam on your foot initially by moving your foot in different angles to check the range of motion. Your doctor will further do an MRI or CT scan of your foot to accurately diagnose ankle sprain.
A sprained ankle is usually treated with bed rest and medicines.
- Bed rest –stay in your bed for at least a week and don’t do anything that can make your sprain worse.
- Ice Packs –apply ice continuously on your foot after two or three hours interval. It will help reduce the inflammation and swelling.
- NSAIDs –take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen and Tylenol to relieve pain.
- Ankle Splint – support your ankle by wearing a splint designed for ankle sprains especially. Make sure it is not loose or too tight as it can lead to worsening of the condition.
- Crutches – use crutches to aid you in your motion while you are on your bedrest and ensure that you do not put even the minimal of weight on your ankle.
- Elevation –keep your foot elevated by propping it on a pair of pillows. It will help reduce the swelling.
- Physical therapy – when the swelling has considerably lessen and you are able to move your ankle without much pain, then do little exercises to help heal the torn ligament. Rotate your ankle in circular motions at first.
- Surgery – it is usually unnecessary but in some serious cases, surgery can be performed to treat a sprained ankle. Arthroscopy and Reconstruction are the two types of surgeries that are performed in cases of severe damage to the ligaments.
As we all know, prevention is better than cure. A little careful attitude can save you from a lot of pain. Doing strengthening exercises as part of your regular exercise will make your ligaments and tendons strong extenuating the chances for future sprains. Also, don’t overdo yourself during physical tasks. Wear high-heels less frequently and actually looking where you’rewalking wouldn’t hurt you either.