Ankle sprain can happen to people at all ages. The most common cause is accidents such as stumbling, falling from high heels, crashes from playing sports and car accidents. During these events, the ankle is turned or spun more widely than normal, stretching joint ligaments excessively until damaged. This can lead to pain and inflammation or the tendon can be torn in some severe cases.
The sprain affect the ligaments and tissues surrounding ankles, especially the calcaneofibular ligament which is found to be damaged in most cases. The severity of ankle sprain can be divided into 3 phases:
- Phase 1 – The ligaments are pulled or stretched until they are inflamed but not torn. The patient will feel slight pain on the ankle but can still walk normally.
- Phase 2 – Some parts of the ligaments are torn, reducing the stability of the ankles. The pain and inflammation is more intense and there may be some blood congestion. The patient may not be able to walk by bearing the full body weight.
- Phase 3: The tendon is totally torn. The ankle loses all stability. In this case, the pain and inflammation are intense with severe blood congestion. The patient may not be able to walk by bearing the full body weight at all.
While the ankle is inflamed and still hot, our physiotherapist will use a cold press to reduce the inflammation, then use ultrasound to reduce pain and stimulate tissue healing. Then our therapist will advise exercise moves to restore the ankle stability and reduce risks of recurring symptoms.
Do not apply a hot press on the ankle during the first 24 – 48 hours because the heat will worsen the damage. Recurring sprains are likely for those who have the symptoms before as some neurons around the ankle are damaged so they send neural signals more slowly. Some patients may feel instability while standing on one leg or walking on soft surfaces such as sand, pillows and mattresses.
Contact Rainbow Arokaya Holistic Longevity Center for more information.