“I Think I Sprained My Ankle”
One of the most common injuries associated with ankle pain is an ankle sprain. Often, a person twists or turns their ankle, causing injury to the ligaments and tendons of the ankle. The most commonly injured ligaments affected are located towards the outside of the ankle. This injury is known as an inversion ankle sprain. Individuals can also suffer from an eversion (outward injury) ankle sprain which affects the inside ankle ligaments. Ankle sprains commonly occur while participating in sports, wearing inappropriate shoes, or walking or running on an uneven surface.
How Ligaments Play into Ankle-Related Injuries
Sometimes ankle sprains occur because of chronic weakness of the ankles. This is due to the ligament not supporting the joint properly. This can be a condition developed from birth. Previous ankle or foot injuries can also weaken the ankle and lead to chronic sprains of the ankle. Ligaments are a type of tissue which connects one bone to another bone. Ligaments help to stabilize and support a joint, limiting excess motion.
Most Common Symptoms of Ankle Sprains
Some ankle sprains are much worse than others and the severity of an ankle sprain depends on whether the ligament is stretched, partially torn, or completely torn. Signs and symptoms of an ankle sprain include: Pain or soreness, swelling, bruising, difficulty walking, or stiffness in the joint.
Everyday Ankle Sprain Treatments
25,000 ankle sprains occur in the US every day. Treatment includes utilizing the RICE method: resting the ankle, applying ice to reduce swelling, using compressive bandages to immobilize and support the injury and elevating the injured ankle. More serious ankle sprains, particularly in athletes, may require surgery to repair the torn or weakened ligaments.