An injured ankle can knock you off your feet and leave you in a lot of pain. A sprain is a common minor injury, although it can be more severe. Ankle sprains occur when you turn or twist your ankle outside of its normal range of motion. The bands of tissue that hold your ankle in place and facilitate motion are called ankle ligaments, and damage to one or more ligaments is the cause of most sprains.
Sprains can range from mild to severe, with mild ones being the result of stretched ligaments and more severe sprains resulting from torn ligaments or a complete ligament tear. Some severe sprains can even lead to broken bones in the foot or ankle. Continue reading to discover the symptoms of a sprained ankle, causes, risk factors and tips to prevent chronic ankle problems.
The precise symptoms of a sprain depend on how badly you’ve stretched or torn the ligaments. A more severe sprain results in the most painful symptoms, while you might experience only one or two of the following symptoms with minor sprains:
Most sprained ankles occur as a result of sports such as climbing, football, running, basketball, trampolining or volleyball. That said, you might also have sprained your ankle going about your daily business. Weight-bearing movements that can lead to ankle sprain include:
Regularly taking part in sports naturally increases your risk. However, you’re most at risk when you’re untrained or new to a sport. There are some other risk factors that make you more prone to ankle sprains:
Most ankle sprains heal quickly, but failure to get one checked out could result in:
A physical therapist or doctor may prescribe the following treatments to decrease pain, reduce swelling and help prevent further injury:
Almost all ankle sprains make you more vulnerable to repeat injury. However, there are some things you can do to prevent this from happening: