One of the most common injuries for those who are physically active – and even those who are just clumsy or living life normally and had the misfortune of taking a bad fall – ankle sprains occur when the foot twists or rolls with sudden or unexpected movement, such as during sports or walking on uneven surfaces.
Ankle sprains usually occur on the outside of the ankle when the lateral ligaments – strong, fibrous tissues that connect bones to each other – are stretched more than they should be or torn. The injury can range from minor microtears in the tissue, to complete ruptures which will require immediately medical attention. Symptoms include pain around the ankle (of course), swelling, bruising, limited motion of the ankle and instability. Severe cases may be accompanied by a popping sound or sensation at the time of injury.
Clumsiness, which is generally a poor sense of positioning and spatial awareness, will increase the risk of getting ankle sprains. This is especially so when playing high-intensity sports like basketball which require a lot of fine legwork and running, which will increase the chance of you falling and sustaining an ankle sprain.
Feet that turn inwards, such as in in-toeing, also place you at higher risk of spraining your ankles. Other conditions that cause difficulty in walking such as bunions or a high-arched foot can also put you at risk of falling more, which can leave you vulnerable to ankle sprains.
Ankle sprains are generally simple to treat, and mostly involve limiting movement and reducing the pressure put on the affected ankle. You can follow the popular RICE method below:
A history of repeated sprains further increases the risk of getting more sprains and may lead to long-term problems such as ankle instability, chronic pain and even arthritis. If further complications arise from your ankle sprain, do not hesitate to book a consultation with us.