What Is an Ankle Sprain?
An ankle sprain is caused by unexpected accident that can lead to injury, such as during daily routine or exercise etc.
What Causes Ankle Sprain?
The major causes of ankle sprain include:
- Accident during a daily routine:
Sprains during the day usually come from small accidents such as a fall off the ladder or high heels, tripping, rolling the foot inward or outward, etc.
- Accidents from exercising or playing sports:
Exercise is the most common cause of ankle sprain which is an injury or tear of one or more ligaments on the outer side of your ankle, forcing your foot to move out of its normal position. Activities that cause such sprain are running, falling, playing sports, etc.
- Accidents form wearing improper shoes
Women have higher risk of ankle sprain from wearing high heels.
Symptoms of Ankle Sprain
There are 3 levels of ankle sprain:
- Level 1: pain, swelling, pain when pressed around the foot
- Level 2: partial tearing of ligament or tendon around the ankle causing severe pain and swelling around the foot
- Level 3: this is a very severe condition where the tendon around the foot is all torn. Patient will be unable to walk at all.
R.I.C.E. First Aid for Sprained Ankle
- R – Rest: sit down to observe the symptoms
- I – Ice: apply an ice pack for 15 minutes every 2 hours to reduce swelling and bleeding. Do not apply hot pack or massage around the injury in the early stage as it will increase the swelling.
- C – Compression: wrap around the injured area and if possible, try not to move as it will cause more pain.
- E – Evaluation: elevate the leg to reduce swelling and pain.
Treatment for Sprained Ankle
If the first aid does not help, you need to seek doctor’s attention. The guideline for treatment is as follows:
- Check patient’s history and physical examination, especially in the area of pain
- X-ray to ensure that there is no broken bone
- Normally, healing takes 6-8 weeks but the swelling heals first
- Rest your injured foot as much as possible. You may need a cast wrap the injured area with bandage to help support your weight.
- Compress with cold pack immediately after the injury to reduce inflammation
- Use bandage or cast to help reduce swelling
- Elevate your foot to reduce swelling
Effects of Sprained Ankle
The long-term effect of a sprained ankle is that it will most likely be twisted or rolled easily than others. Chronic pain in the ankle or ankle bone may persist. Therefore, you need to have immediate first aid and observe the symptoms. If the condition worsens, you need see the doctor right away.