On April fool 2015, I sprained my ankle, and it was not funny. You don’t need much to hurt yourself. A little bit of awkward clumsiness and being unlucky.
Ankle sprains are very common injuries. 25,000 people do it every day!
There's a good chance that while playing as a child or stepping on an uneven surface as an adult you sprained your ankle. Usually benign, it can still permanently damage the ligaments.
Sometimes, it is an awkward moment when you lose your balance. Or just walk to your car in flat surface and suddently your leg gave up, your roll your ankle on a side and realise you are already kssing the floor, screaming hell because it hurts. Most of the time, the pain quickly fades away and you go on your way.
But the sprain could be more severe; your ankle might swell and it might hurt too much to stand on it. If it's a severe sprain, you might have felt a "pop" when the injury happened. You might injured, stretched and even torn apart ligaments which support your ankle stability. This is when we talk about sprained grade I, II or III, depending on how many ligaments are injured. Worse case scenario, you fractured a bone which need to be checked by Xray.
How to react in case of an ankle sprain?
If a sprain is not treated properly, you could have long-term problems, chronic pain and instability. Typically the ankle is rolled either inward or outward.
For a Grade I & II sprain, follow the R.I.C.E. which you already know if you are reading this article
Swelling usually goes down with a few days.
A Grade III sprain puts you at risk for permanent ankle instability. Rarely, surgery may be needed to repair the damage, especially in competitive athletes.But I have seen multiple fracture which needs surgery with plates to keep the ankle together. For severe ankle sprains, your doctor may also consider treating you with a short leg cast for two to three weeks or a walking boot.
When to see a doctor?
If you are unable to do weigh bearing after this type of injury, or if there is significant swelling or deformity, you should seek medical treatment from a doctor or Xray.
If you have not seen a doctor just after the sprain , You should consult after 3-5 days of treatment if still painful. This medical consultation revaluation will help to judge the severity of the sprain. An appropriate continued treatment with strapping, strict immobilization and remedial massage therapy to rehabilitate the ankle for a quick recovery and less chance of happening again.
Next article, I will talk about recovery and rehabiliation for such an injury like Massage rehabilitation, acupuncture, chiropractor and exercise.