What is a sprained ankle?
A sprained ankle is the most common type of ankle injury. A sprain is stretching and tearing of ligaments. (You sprain a ligament and strain a muscle).
The most common damage done in an sprained ankle is to the talo-fibula ligament . If the sprained ankle is worse you might also damage the calcanao-fibula ligament which is towards the back of the heel. In addition to the ligament damage you can also cause damage to tendons as well.
There are three degrees of a sprained ankle / ligament sprain:
* Some stretching or perhaps tearing of the ligament.
* Little or no joint instability.
* Mild pain
* Little swelling
* Some joint stiffness.
* Some tearing of the ligament fibres
* Moderate instability of the joint
* Moderate to severe pain
* Swelling and stiffness
* Total rupture of a ligament
* Gross instability of the joint
* Severe pain initially followed by no pain
* Severe swelling
What can the athlete do for a sprained ankle?
* Protect the injured ankle by taping or a support (although do not rely on them for ever as this may weaken the joint).
* Rest the injured ankle - use crutches if necessary - no weight bearing for 24 hours, but partial weight bearing as soon as pain will allow.
* See a sports injury specialist who can advise on rehabilitation including mobility, and strengthening.
What can a sports injury specialist do about it?
* Prescribe anti inflammatory medication.
* Reduce swelling by compression devices.
* Use ultra sound and laser treatment.
* Use cross friction massage.
* Prescribe a full rehabilitation programme.