What is an ankle sprain?

Ankle sprains are the most common ankle injury. When treated properly and early enough, it can heal without leaving any permanent side effects. Unfortunately, it can also leave permanent ankle damage when treated improperly. After a sprain, your ankle becomes weaker. Weak ankles, in turn, will easily get hurt again. It is essential to get ahead of the problem to get out of this vicious cycle.

What causes an ankle sprain?

An ankle sprain usually happens when the ankle rolls in by accident. It can happen while running, playing sports, or walking. An ankle will get sprained easier if it has already happened before. Not only will a weak ankle be more susceptible to another sprain, it can also cause your other foot, ankle, knees or hips to take more pressure and become painful.

Flat feet, cavus feet, and improper shoes can put you at risk to an ankle sprain.

How to treat an ankle sprain?

Depending on the severity of your sprain, different treatments are available to treat you current sprain or to prevent a second one from happening.

1. Supporting your ankle

Your ankle needs support in order to heal better, but it also needs support in order to not suffer from another sprain. Your podiatrist can do that by prescribing an adapted ankle support or by prescribing a custom-made plantar orthotic to help your ankle function better after your sprain. Your podiatrist can also utilize sport tapping in order to immobilize your ankle and reduce your ankle sprain pain.

2. Strengthening your ankle

A weak ankle is not only a consequence of your ankle sprain, but is it also the cause of a second or third ankle sprain. Your podiatrist can prescribe you strengthening exercises and stretches to build up the strength of your ankle.

3. Visualizing your injury

Using ultrasound technology, your podiatrist can visualize and measure the extent of the damage done to your ankle, no matter if it is a recent or old injury. Your podiatrist can also prescribe and analyze an X-ray to see any ankle fracture.

4. Reducing your ankle pain

Your podiatrist can prescribe some anti-inflammatory medication according to your medical condition.

How to treat an ankle sprain at home?

While waiting for your podiatric consultation, you can relieve your pain at home by following these steps:

Take some rest

Reduce or stop if possible the activity that has caused your injury. Your sprain cannot heal if you continue to exercise.

Ice your heel

Reduce the inflammation in your ankle by applying an ice bag two or three times a day for 5-15 minutes.

Change your shoes

Wear shoes that wrap higher up around the ankle in order to give more support to your ankle while you walk or play sports.

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