Ankle sprain

An ankle sprain is considered as a common sports injury that often recurs. In most circumstances, the ankle is rolled in an outward manner which results to damage to the ligaments on the exterior of the ankle. Since this is a common injury, you have to be prepared to manage one. To learn to recognize and manage muscle and joint injuries including ankle sprains, register for a first aid course with a credible provider near you.

Symptoms

The symptoms of an ankle sprain can vary from mild to severe. When it comes to a mild sprain, the individual can still continue with sports. As for severe injuries, it requires hospitalization and will take a longer time to heal completely.

The injury typically occurs due to abrupt trauma, turning or twisting over of the ankle. The pain can be felt in the ankle joint although specifically on the exterior of the ankle when pressing in on the damaged ligaments. There is swelling or bruising but usually on mild cases. The pain can also be felt on the interior of the ankle due to the compression of the bones and soft tissues.

Ankle sprain

It is important to note that cold therapy must be applied for 10-15 minutes during each session every hour for the initial 24-48 hours.

An ankle sprain can be graded as 1, 2 or 3 depending on the severity. The doctor will perform full assessment which includes range of motion testing and resisted movement tests in order to determine which structures are damaged and the severity of the damage sustained.

Treatment

The immediate first aid for an ankle sprain is the RICE method as soon as possible. It is important to note that cold therapy must be applied for 10-15 minutes during each session every hour for the initial 24-48 hours.  In some cases, the ankle is wrapped under a compression bandage as soon as the injury has occurred to reduce the swelling, but must be done with care for only 10 minutes at a time to prevent starving the area of blood which can lead to further injury. Avoid applying ice directly to the skin since it can cause further damage. The treatment using ice can continue for some time during the rehabilitation process.

Rehabilitation program

The rehabilitation program for an ankle sprain is started so that the individual will return to full fitness. After the initial acute phase which is usually 24-48 hours, rehabilitation and exercises can be started as long as the pain allows. The program is usually based on three phases in order to reduce pain and inflammation, restoring normal mobility as well as building up strength and proprioception.

Ankle sprain taping

Taping of the ankle can provide support and compression after injury and later in the rehabilitation process can provide support when returning to full training. Taping is also useful if the ankle ligaments sustained permanent stretching resulting to ankle instability.

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