An ankle sprain is an injury to the ligaments that connect the bones of the leg to the foot. The injury typically happens when you accidentally twist or turn your ankle in an awkward way. This can stretch or tear the ligaments that hold your ankle bones and joints together.
All ligaments have a specific range of motion and boundaries that allow them to keep the joints stabilized. When ligaments surrounding the ankle are pushed past these boundaries, it causes a sprain.
You should call your doctor right away if you sprain your ankle. Your doctor can determine the severity of the injury and recommend a proper course of treatment. It can take several weeks or months for a sprained ankle to heal completely.
You may have a sprained ankle if you notice the following symptoms in the ankle:
· pain and swelling
· inability to put weight on the affected ankle
How is it diagnosed?
Your doctor will perform a physical exam to determine which ligaments have been torn. During the exam, your doctor may move your ankle joint in various ways to check your range of motion.
Imaging tests, such as X-rays, may also be ordered to rule out a bone fracture. An MRI may be done if your doctor suspects a fracture, a serious injury to the ligaments, or damage to the surface of the ankle joint.
How is it treated?
Treating a sprained ankle promotes recovery and prevents further discomfort.
Home treatment for sprained ankle is R.I.C.E.
R: Rest :
It is important to not put excess weight on ankle while recovering from ankle injury.
Using elastic bandages /crepe bandages to wrap your ankle, but not too tightly. This will keep swelling in check and provide support to healing ankle.
Elevate your foot with pillows as necessary to reduce swelling.
Electrotherapy: Ultrasonic therapy/ TENS can be applied to improve mobility and to reduce pain. Electro therapy also reduces stiffness in ankle.
Kinesiology Taping: Therapeutic Kinesiology tape is an elastic cotton strip with an acrylic adhesive which is used for treating injuries and a variety of physical disorders. It provides right support to sprained ankle and is very useful for early mobilization.
Exercise therapy: Customized exercises for the nature and extent of sprain are very beneficial. Rightly timed exercises at right intensity not only promote healing but also helps you to get back to routine faster.
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