Sprained ankles are one of the most common injuries as nearly 25,000 people sprain their ankle every day according to The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society. A sprained ankle happens most commonly during physical activity such as sports or walking and running on uneven surfaces. Sprained ankles vary in severity, from being able to shake off the pain to swelling and severe pain. If you’re suffering from the latter, you may have felt or heard a pop when during the sprain. A sudden movement or landing on your ankle may cause an inversion or eversion sprain.
Here at Oahu Spine & Rehab in Kailua, we see patients every week that are suffering from various foot problems or sports injuries. When we get a patient with a sprained ankle, they have generally been referred by their physician due to the severity of the sprain. The symptoms of a sprain in your ankle include pain along the inner or outer side of your ankle, swelling, bruising, lack of range of motion, stiffness, and throbbing. A sprained ankle happens when tendons that run through your ankle were either stretched or torn. This can happen on the inside or the outside of the ankle.
When you visit your primary care provider, they will examine your ankle to make sure that there are no broken bones or more serious injuries before classifying your sprain as a Grade I, II, or III sprain. Depending on the grade of the sprain, your treatment plan will follow.
If your sprain is a grade one, it can be self-treated at home with the RICE process; Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate.
With a Grade II sprain, you do the same process for even longer and you may need a splint or to stay off your ankle.
A Grade III sprain could mean that a cast or boot is needed, and in worse cases, surgery. As the damage could end up affecting your ankle permanently, it is important so work with a physical therapist in order to assure that your injury isn’t going to get more severe. The first steps are to rest, and work on reducing the swelling. It’s important that the tendons are rehabilitated no matter what the severity of the injury is.
Preventing Future Injury
Because of their regularity, ankle sprains often times go undiagnosed or treated. These sprains may seem like they are no big deal, but that isn’t always the case. In athletes and in the elderly, ankle sprains can lead to further damage if not treated properly.
In order to remedy a sprain you have to give it the proper rest and time to heal. This is where the risks come into play with major athletes. A normally active person may rush the healing process which can cause permanent damage to the ligaments in the foot. The sprain needs ice, compression, elevation and rest to be able to heal itself. It’s important to consult with your primary care doctor and your physical therapist to get the best recovery possible. For athletes, there are sports-specific rehabilitation treatment plans that can be designed to get you back into the game ASAP.
For elderly patients, our team is used to coming across patients who have suffered a bad fall, gotten injured, and struggle with PT because of their fear of further injury. Here at OSR we want to help ease your mind about your control over your body. Not only will our physical therapists work on healing your sprain but also in your range of motion and balance which will help re-build confidence and fight fear.
Physical therapy is a crucial part of healing a sprained ankle. Our PT staff here at Oahu Spine & Rehab will be able to show you the correct way to stretch and rotate your ankle so that the sprain is healing as swiftly as possible. Here at OSR our medical staff will provide you with a personalized treatment plan and exercises for your ankle.
If you are suffering from a bad ankle sprain or any sort of pain at all, give OSR a call today at 488-5555 to set up an appointment.