Ignoring a Sprained Ankle Can Lead to Chronic Ankle Instability
An ankle sprain is a very common injury. In fact, every day in the U.S. 25,000 people sprain their ankles!
An ankle sprain is really a tearing or over-stretching of the ligaments on the outside of the ankle. The ligament is stretched abnormally when you take a step and your foot turns to the side so abruptly and strongly that the sole of that foot is facing the other foot. You will experience immediate pain of the ankle joint as well as the lower leg, and soon your ankle will appear bruised and swollen.
Many ankle sprains occur during sporting activities, especially from jumping movements such as those in basketball or dance. But you can sprain your ankle by simply stepping off a curb the wrong way or walking on an uneven surface. If you wear unstable shoes like platforms or high heels, you are at a higher risk of spraining your ankle.
Inadequate Healing Can Lead to Chronic Ankle Instability
Unfortunately, many with an injured ankle choose to endure the pain and go right back to walking, exercising or their chosen sport. This is a mistake! If not healed properly, ankle sprains can recur which can result in a chronically unstable joint. This condition can lead to poor balance and a distorted gait.
The end result of this unfortunate cycle is that the injured person will fear reinjury and may not be able to exercise correctly, leading to poor cardiovascular health and even chronic arthritis.
Get Help for a Sprained Ankle
If you injure your ankle, avoid weight-bearing immediately. Follow the R.I.C.E. treatment method: Rest the foot, Ice the area, apply a Compression bandage and Elevate the leg.
For persistent ankle pain and swelling, please call the Podiatry Group of Annapolis, P.A. for an evaluation. We'll treat you for any problems that we find. Physical therapy can help strengthen the joint.
Prevention Is the Best Way To Reduce Your Risk of an Ankle Sprain
There are ways to prevent ankle sprains, or at least to reduce your risk:
- Always wear well-fitting shoes that are appropriate for each sport and activity.
- Start an exercise program slowly and gradually increase endurance and speed.
- Improve your balance with exercises like Tai Chi. Also, stand on one foot with your eyes closed and gradually increase the duration.
- Stretch carefully and often, especially your legs, torso and hips.
- Strengthen your ankle muscles. Try wrapping a towel around your foot and then move your foot around in all directions.
We Can Help with All Types of Foot and Ankle Injuries
Dr. James M. McKee, DPM, board certified podiatrist at the Podiatry Group of Annapolis, P.A. has the right experience to diagnose and treat foot and ankle injuries in any age group. Please call us at 410-224-4448 to make an appointment at our office in Annapolis, MD. You can also request an appointment at the website. Don't let your sprained ankle become a chronic condition - call us today!