What exactly is a sprained ankle?
An ankle sprain happens when the ligaments holding the joint together are torn or stretched out. It’s an extremely common sports injury and can be quite painful.
Ankle sprain signs and symptoms:
- Immediate pain and swelling.
- Difficulty moving the ankle.
- Pain when putting weight on the ankle.
How will I know if I’ve sprained my ankle?
The following is a list of the most common signs and symptoms of an ankle sprain. You may have sprained your ankle if:
- You have immediate swelling. This is often severe.
- The ankle joint is tender to the touch.
- Bruising is present. This can be extensive.
- Pain can be sudden and severe, especially with a Grade II or Grade III sprain.
- The ankle won’t be able to bear weight without significant pain.
- The ankle joint will feel stiff in the following days.
- A wobbly or unstable feeling in the ankle while standing.
Grade I sprains are overstretched but not torn ligaments. There is pain and swelling but no loss of stability. Grade II sprains are partial tears, and the joint often loses stability and feels “wobbly.” Grade III sprains involve full-thickness tears and the joint can become severely unstable.
What kind of rehab exercises should be done?
In almost all cases rehab exercises should begin the day of the injury. These can begin with simple, non-weight bearing range of motion exercises. One of the most common is ankle “ABCs.” With the ankle elevated, simply trace the alphabet in the air. Keep the motions small, and never push your ankle past the point of mild discomfort. This will keep the ankle moving, increase circulation, and aid in healing.
After the acute phase of the injury, strengthening and stretching exercises should be performed. The “ankle walk” drills are commonly used. The patient walks forward for small distances while standing on the tip-toes, the outside and inside of the foot, and the heels. The same is then done when walking backwards. This challenges and strengthens all of the muscles which control the ankle. It also helps develop coordination which is necessary to avoid future sprains.
We can help you. Call 878-313-3338 for an appointment.