What Causes Ankle Sprains
You may have heard the expression that you should just “walk it off” after someone suffers from a sprained ankle, but the truth is that allowing the proper healing time for a sprained ankle is important for the long-term health and wellness of your joints. Here are some guidelines from Premier Foot in Plano on how to properly care for and heal from this injury.
An ankle sprain can be caused by just about anything, from walking and running to more extreme sports. The ankle joint is held together by ligaments and has a specific range of motion. When you move your ankle outside of that range it can result in ligament injury and inflammation. It is a common injury, occurring about 25,000 times each day according to the American Academy or Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS).
Treating Ankle Sprains
Before getting any treatment for an ankle sprain, it’s a good idea to determine exactly how severe the injury is.
Sprains are often divided into grades:
- Grade 1 – stretched and slightly damaged ligament fibers.
- Grade 2 – partially torn ligament with minor joint instability.
- Grade 3 – complete ligament tear with significant joint instability.
The recommended treatment and the length of sprained ankle healing time differs depending on the severity of the injury. For mild cases, a foot care doctor might recommend rest, ice and exercises to strengthen the muscles and ligaments. More severe injuries might require a splint, boot, or other cast and the most severe cases could even require surgery.
Generally healing occurs in three phases, taking anywhere from two weeks to six months or more:
- Phase 1 – R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, elevation) and a combination of ice/heat therapy that usually lasts about a week. More severe cases might also require a cast after the swelling has gone down.
- Phase 2 – gaining back flexibility, strength, and movement with exercises.
- Phase 3 – gradually returning to daily activities, which could take several weeks or even several months for bad sprains.
Getting back to normal after this type of injury means you need to first allow an adequate amount of sprained ankle healing time. If you try to rush back to normal activities it could result in chronic injury and pain over time. Premier Foot offers treatment for all types of injury, so call us at 972-424-8999 to schedule an appointment today.