24 April 2014
Sport's Injuries: The Ankle Sprain
Ankle sprain injuries are frequently caused by athletic activities that involve a rapid shifting movement when your foot is planted (figure 2). So what exactly is the ankle sprain? An ankle sprain happens when there is a stretching and tearing in an abnormal way of the ligaments surrounding the ankle joint. The ankle joint is where the foot and leg joint meet and when there is an abnormal movement in the ankle, the ligaments can easily be damaged (figure 1). The ankle joint is one of the most important components of the talocrural joint which is needed for walking (figure 3)
Ankle sprains are very common injuries. In 2013, approximately almost 25,000 people experienced it every day. The ankle is important in foot movements and maintaining stability. There are a number of different problems that can affect the ankle and lead to an ankle sprain or inflammation. The most common cause of ankle sprains is applying weight to one foot when it is either inverted or an everted position. An ankle sprain can range from mild to severe, depending on how badly the ligament is damaged and how many ligaments are injured. With a mild sprain, the ankle may be tender, swollen, and stiff. But it usually feels stable, and you can walk with little pain. A more serious sprain might include bruising and tenderness around the ankle, and walking is painful. In a severe ankle sprain, the ankle is unstable and may feel "wobbly." You can't walk, because the ankle gives out and may be very painful. Ankle sprains is not the tearing of the muscle but the inflaming of the ligament. Many athletes in fast paced sports can easily get an ankle sprain and can develop into a long term injury (figure 3). Ankle sprains may also be referred to as an twisted ankle, rolled ankle or floppy ankle.
Signs and Symptoms of the Ankle Sprain injury
Lakers Basketball Player, Kobe Bryant, has suffered many ankle sprains in his career
One of the main symptoms of the ankle sprain injury is sudden onset pain and painful movement of the ankle joint. Sudden pain can eventually get worse which could lead to swelling in the whole joint. Mild pain can always turn into severe pain. The pain usually starts when you use your injured leg for many lower body or daily activities. The worse the pain is, the worse your ankle mobility gets. The pain can eventually affect your ability to walk. An ankle sprain injury can not affect you physically, but mentally. An ankle sprain can cause pain when you are walking leading to daily life style patterns leading to mental breakdowns. What affects you physically can easily affect you mentally, vice versa. An ankle sprain can affect you in the long run and can affect all your other lower body joints too. Everything is interconnected. Kobe Bryant, a professional basketball player still suffers frequent ankle injuries to this day (figure 4).
So what are the other symptoms of the ankle sprain injury? The other most common symptom for the ankle sprain injury is stiffness and swelling. After overuse of the ankles in daily activities, stiffness and swelling is inclined to happen. Many people who start to run and participate in many daily activities using their legs injure their ankle joints due to the overuse of the ankles in their activities. This is why balance in a workout and sports activities is needed to prevent an ankle injury. Without a proper recovery after a workout, stiffness, swelling and bruising will happen. What many don’t realize is how vital your ankles are in your daily life. Your ankles are needed to walk around, participate in sports and needed to move around. Even getting off the sofa can simple injure your ankle!
So what type of treatments can you use on the injured ankle?
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