Sprained or Twisted Ankle

The most common type of ankle injury is a sprain. A sprain is stretching and tearing of ligaments, which connect bones to other bones. The most common damage done in an ankle sprain is to the ligament on the outside of the ankle. In addition to the ligament damage, you could have also damaged tendons, which connect muscles to bone.

There are three degrees of ligament sprain:

First degree:

  • Some stretching or perhaps tearing of the ligament.

  • Little or no joint instability.

  • Mild pain

  • Little swelling

  • Some joint stiffness.

Second degree:

  • Some tearing of the ligament fibres

  • Moderate instability of the joint

  • Moderate to severe pain

  • Swelling and stiffness

 Third degree:

  • Total rupture of a ligament

  • Gross instability of the joint

  • Severe pain initially followed by no pain

  • Severe swelling

If you have sprained you ankle it is important that you receive the appropriate care as quickly as possible. This will allow you to prevent further injuries to your ankles and prevent chronic ankle instability and sprains. Begin with PRICE (pressure, rest, ice, compression, elevation). Begin with a visit to a health care provider familiar with sports injuries. This can be your chiropractor, family physician or sports medicine doctor. In the early stages of this disorder it is important to apply ice packs for 20 to 30 minutes every 3 to 4 hours for 2 to 3 days, or until the pain goes away. Correct rehabilitation is essential. It is important not to ignore this injury because foot motion and balance can be affected leaving you susceptible to further injuries.

Rehabilitation of the ankle emphasizes stability of the entire lower extremity and loosen up any tight muscles while strengthening weak ones. During your rehabilitation exercises it is very important to maintain proper body alignment. It is also important to strengthen you abdominals with a core stability program. It has been shown that a weak core results in excessive forces being transferred through the ankle joint during athletic events. In addition to a proper exercise program it is important to receive some form of hands on therapy to loosen up the tissues surrounding the knee joint. It is recommended that some form of soft tissue therapies such as Active Release Technique® or sports massage be used. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) and pain medication is helpful during the first few weeks of an injury, BUT this does not fix the problem, it allows you to manage the discomfort while taking the appropriate steps to rehabilitate your body and prevent future injuries. Visit your preferred health care provider and receive the proper care you need and deserve.