Going over on your ankle, turning your ankle, twisting your ankle. These are all descriptions for an eversion or inversion injury of the ankle, meaning turning your ankle outward or inward to the point of injury. Ankle sprains are often seen among athletes so if you have injured yourself playing your favourite sport or have gone over on your ankle during a run you have joined the ranks of the most common sports injury in sports.
An inward or inversion sprain of the ankle is the most common. Your foot turns so that the sole of your foot is pointing toward your line of sight. Both types of ankle sprains can cause severe pain and disability. Not many people know that up to forty percent of ankle injuries become re injured in the first year alone. The immediate pain and disability is obvious, but the long term consequences may be just as bad with recurring sprains causing a chronic ankle instability, reduced function, swelling, chronic irriation and reduced quality of life. Although not all ankle injuries go on to have a chronic instability, many ankle sprains will reduce foot and ankle function. Furthermore an ankle sprain thats left untreated can effect you further up the movement chain with the result of getting knee pain and malalignment of the hip and pelvis.
Both the inside of your ankle and the outside of your ankle can become damaged with an ankle sprain. Fractures are not uncommon of the end of the bones of your leg with or without tearing of the medial or lateral ankle ligaments. You may notice that your ankle or foot doesn’t get better. A fracture might be the reason. Tendons can also become squashed and cut by the forces involved. The main things to see is swelling, bruising and loss of function. You might find that you limp a bit to begin with in the morning. The ankle may get a bit better during the day and then gets painful again toward the end of the day. This is normal, but does mean that your ankle might not be getting properly better.
A pop or snapping sound could mean your ankle is more seriously injured. Likewise if you were limping for some time afterward a more serious ankle sprain should be considered. Getting a proper examination could be what you need.
Reasons to consider seeing a podiatrist after an ankle sprain:
- Your ankle isn’t getting better despite trying PRICES
- You have noticed that your foot isn’t properly working or you are getting pain that isnt going away
- Poor balance on a foot that you sprained years ago and its affecting your daily activities
- Pain in your foot even if it’s in a completely different area to the one you sprained
- Your not sure if your ankle sprain is going to get better
The first thing to do if you have sprained your ankle is to reduce the impact on your foot and ankle for the first 48hours. Resting your ankle allows some healing to occur. Apply some ice and you may consider a compression sock from the chemist. However it is important that you start the rehabilitation process soon afteward. This is to regain full strength function and flexibility of the foot and ankle. Here is a simple: rehabilitation protocol for you to try. If you don’t get better or you are concerned come and see us at the Foot and Ankle Clinic. We can check your ankle and assess the severity and issue you with a good rehabilitiation protocol.
The most common causes of ankle sprains are
- Poor conditioning
Your sense of movement and the control of your movements improve with better conditioning. When you get tired toward the end of your activity your movement patterns are structured and excess movements of the joints and muscles are more likely. The risk of becoming off balance and loosing your sense of body orientation increases.
- Not warming up
Warming your muscles allows your tendons, muscles and ligaments to becoming more responsive and elastic. Even a 10 minute warm up can make a difference.
When you increase your mileage or training routine too fast. If you start a new training course where the terrain is different. This comes down to fatigue and change of terrain. For those of you who are runners, incrasing your running volume and moving to more rocky terrain can be a factor in increasing the risk of getting an ankle sprain.
- Leg length difference
Some evidence suggests that a leg length difference can put the lower limb and pelvis in an already off balance position thereby increasing the risk of going over on the ankle.
If you have recently sprained your ankle, or you are getting foot and ankle pain around that area come and see us and we can offer you a treatment plan to get you back to your activites again.