Sprained ankles are one of the most common injuries we see patients for inside Advanced Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy. From sports injuries to skiing mishaps, slips and falls to just awkwardly rolling an ankle, the dysfunction caused to the muscles in an ankle after a sprain is very painful, sometimes even more painful and bruised than a break.
A sprained ankle can occur very easily. An awkward twist or sideways step is all it takes to cause the sprain. Stepping off an uneven surface or misstepping can lead to this most common ankle injury. It’s important to understand the types of sprain and treatments available in order to get on a fast road to recovery.
Sprained ankle symptoms vary, but may include:
- Swelling of the affected area
- Ankle instability
- Popping sound/sensation when moving or rotating the ankle
- Tenderness to the touch
- Pain when bearing weight on the impacted area
- Reduced range in motion
Although ankle sprains are extremely common, there are ways to help prevent them from happening.
- Practice balance exercises and stability training for your core and ankles
- Avoid wearing high-heeled shoes and be sure to wear appropriate shoes for your activities (always make sure they are sized correctly and tied tight)
- Always warm up before exercising or participating in sporting activities
- Be very careful when walking on uneven surfaces
- Support your ankle with tape or a brace
- During the winter, be very careful when walking on slippery surfaces
Treatments for sprained ankles vary based on severity. Sometimes with a very minor sprain, all you need is some ice and time to rest. For more serious sprains, medical evaluations are necessary to explore the severity and get you on the best treatment plan. Failing to treat an ankle sprain timely and properly can lead to chronic ankle pain or instability and potentially arthritis.
- Active and passive exercises
- Electrical stimulation and transcutaneous electrical neuromuscular stimulation (TENS)
- Joint mobilization
- Massage therapy
- Heat and/or ice applications
- Laser Therapy
Remember, athletes aren’t the only ones who are at risk for ankle sprains. Everyday activities, especially during the winter weather, put anyone at risk for a sprain. If you are feeling any ankle pain as a result of a sports-related injury or slip and fall, please give us a call or schedule an appointment to meet with one of our staff therapists today.
Advanced Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy is conveniently located at 18 Newark Pompton Turnpike in Riverdale, NJ. So if you’re looking for sprained ankle treatment in Northern New Jersey, please contact us today!