Ankle sprains are one of the most common sports injuries. They typically occur when your ankle twists or rolls when your foot is planted, or when another person steps on your ankle with force. These actions can stretch or tear the ligaments that hold your ankle bones and joints together.
HOW CAN YOU PREVENT ANKLE SPRAINS?
- Wear shoes that are appropriate for your sport and provide support
- Try to avoid planting your feet on uneven surfaces
- Warm up before playing sports
- Maintain foot flexibility and perform strengthening exercises
- If your ankle has been injured previously, wrap it with a bandage or wear a brace for future activities
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOUR ANKLE IS SPRAINED?
In addition to experiencing pain at the time of the injury, you may notice some of the following symptoms of a sprain:
- Continued pain (sprains may last for weeks or months)
- Ankle instability
- Decreased range of motion
HOW DO YOU TREAT ANKLE SPRAINS?
If the sprain is mild, you may be able to treat it at home by following the RICE approach:
- Ice (especially important to apply as soon as possible after the injury)
- Compression (with a bandage wrap or brace)
In addition, ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) or naproxen (Alleve) may help reduce the pain.
If your pain is intolerable or worsens after the first couple of days, you should visit a doctor because the injury could be more serious than a sprain. You may need an examination and testing – possibly with an x-ray or MRI – or physical therapy.
If you have suffered an ankle injury or any other type of sports injury, please feel free to contact our office for an appointment with one of our sports medicine specialists!
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