What is an ankle sprain?
Whether it is performing our day-to-day activity, or if we are trying to reach peak physical fitness and performance, one area that we often overlook are our ankles. Oftentimes, unless we experience pain in our ankles, we forget the crucial role our ankles play in practically every aspect of our physical activity.
As a major weight bearing structure of our body, the ankle and its associated and surrounding structures – such as tendons, ligaments, muscles, nerves and blood vessels – work in conjunction with our foot and our lower limb so that we are able to bear weight and adapt to any kind of terrain. But because they are exposed to all these forces, there is an increased likelihood of these structures being affected and injured.
Ankle sprains are responsible for a large percentage of ankle pain. This happens when we roll our ankle inwards from either falls, trips, slips or improper landings. Once you’ve experience an ankle sprain, the likelihood of it happening again increases.
Why is there ankle pain?
What causes ankle pain?
It is important to note that ankle pain does not necessarily refer to an ankle sprain. When you’ve got pain in the ankle when walking or running or if there is pain in the ankle when squatting, it could be due to a myraid of reasons.
Ankle pain can be caused by different reasons. Besides ankle sprains, there are also acute and chronic conditions that could result in ankle pain. Conditions range from ligament damage, tendonitis of the larger and smaller tendons surrounding the ankle, to joint involvement such as ankle impingement syndrome and osteoarthritis. These conditions have different pain characteristics and can present quite differently to each other.
In general, individuals that experience ankle pain feel it within the ankle joint itself accompanied with swelling and stiffness in the ankle. Surrounding associated structures – such as ligaments, muscles or tendons could also be affected. Pain may range from a general dull ache, to sharp stabbing pain, or even tingling or burning sensations. Individuals may also find it difficult to bear weight due to increased pain during weight bearing. You may experience pain in the back of the ankle, pain in the front of the ankle or pain on the inside of the ankle.
Since the cause for ankle pain may be ambiguous at times, it is important to seek medical consultation from your Podiatrist, or any health professional to assess and accurately diagnose your condition.
Hence, for individuals with ankle pain, it is crucial to visit a Podiatrist to have your ankle assessed and a personalised treatment plan on how to address the cause of your ankle pain.
How long does an ankle sprain take to heal?
Ankle sprains are a common injury we see in sport and in our day to day life. What is an ankle sprain? Does pain in the ankle meant that you have sprained you ankle? How can a Podiatrist help with your ankle pain? Watch to find out more!
Treatment for ankle pain
How can you manage your ankle pain?
In the short term, temporary relief can manage your ankle pain with PEACE & LOVE:
P – Protect and avoid aggravating movements for 3 days. Do not stop moving!
E – Elevate the limb higher than your heart to help reduce tissue swelling
A – Avoid anti-inflammatories since it may be detrimental to tissue healing
C – Compression seems to reduce swelling and improve quality of life
E – Educate on the benefits of an active approach to recovery
L – Load as soon as symptoms allow for normal activities
O – Optimism will likely enhance the likelihood of an optimal recovery
V – Vascularisation through aerobic exercise will improve function and reduces the need for pain medications
E – Exercises will help restore mobility, strength and proprioception early after injury
The importance of functional rehabilitation cannot be underestimated with ankle sprains. Usually, impairments to range of motion, persistent pain, swelling, and joint instability result from ankle sprains. Our Podiatrist will be able to assess your stability, flexibility, and strength of your ankle joint. Treatments in the form of Physiotherapy, as well as corrective orthotic insoles to help improve stability and reduce pain, may also be necessary for you on your path to full recovery from your ankle pain.
It is highly advisable to see prompt and early treatment for your injury so that we can prevent future injury and complications to the ankle. Seek early treatment for your ankle pain!