What Is a Sprained Ankle?
A sprained ankle is an injury to the ligaments of the ankle joint, typically causing pain, swelling, and stiffness in the area. Although this is a fairly common injury, an ankle sprain can be very debilitating, making even the simplest of daily activities difficult or impossible.
Recovery time is typically around two weeks, although this can vary depending on the severity of the sprain. A slightly stretched ligament would be the most mild, whereas a ruptured ligament (which can be identified by a popping sound at the moment of injury and extreme bruising afterward) would be more severe. No matter the severity of the injury, physical therapy can assist the natural healing process of the body.
Sprained Ankle Symptoms
Sprained Ankle Causes
A sprain occurs with ligaments around a joint are damaged, so this injury can be caused by any activity that puts the ligaments of the ankle in a vulnerable position. Ankle sprains are usually caused by twisting or rolling the foot improperly, straining the ligaments in the joint. Sports are a common culprit behind these injuries, with basketball being a notable example.
Each time an ankle is sprained the ligaments around the joint become weaker, increasing the risk of future sprains. Because of this, recurring sprains from sports are commonplace. Some other factors and activities that may contribute to or cause a sprained ankle are listed below.
Sprained Ankle Risks
- muscle or tendon weakness
- previous sprain
- walking or running on uneven surfaces
Sprained Ankle Treatment
Always consult your physician before attempting any kind of treatment program.
Ankle sprains require a delicate period of care initially, during which the injury should be rested, iced, compressed, and elevated (commonly referred to as RICE). During this period, Yakima’s trained staff at Central Washington Physical Therapy can give you treatment and instructions to help decrease your pain.
As the ankle sprain continues to heal, a rehabilitation program should be put into place to help you regain your strength and range of motion, allowing you to return to your daily activities as quickly as possible. Such treatment may include the following:
Sprained Ankle: Treatment Options
- electrical stimulation therapy for immediate pain relief
- cold packs
- instruction in lifestyle changes
- manual (hands-on) therapy
- vasopneumatic therapy
If you’re suffering from any kind of sprained joint, Yakima’s Central Washington Physical Therapy may be able to help you. Contact us below to get started.