What you need to know!
Getting a sprained ankle in sport can be painful and can put you on the sideline for quite sometime as you wait for it to recover. A sprained ankle is also among the most common and most easiest to get sport injuries. Knowing precisely what causes this injury and how to prevent it is knowledge no athlete should go without, also knowing what you should do if you end up with a sprained ankle can be really useful to help make sure that the injury doesn’t get worse and you can get back on your feet faster!
A sprained ankle occurs when the ligaments that support the ankle become damaged.
A sprain will most likely occur through an inversion or eversion injury usually from forcing the ankle into a position it is not meant to be in. An Inversion injury is when the joint twisted inwards. Whilst an eversion injury is the opposite where the joint is twisted outwards.
Twisting the ankle inwards is the most common of the two due to the anatomy of the ankle.
Symptoms will often include pain and swelling of the ankle.
Swelling is usually caused by the damage to the ligament tissue which may start to bleed and cause the swelling to occur.
Stretches have been proven to help strengthen the affected ligaments, stretches also help strengthen the supporting muscles in the foot which help better stabilize the ankle when running and reduce the risk of sprains.
If you have just sustained a sprain on your ankle the best thing to do (as soon as possible) is to remember and to do PRICE, which stands for…
Protection, keeping the sprain protected from further damage as the ankle will be weaker and more susceptible to further damage.
Rest, Keeping the effected ankle rested and not putting weight on it. The affected ligaments will be weaker and thus there will be a increased risk of aggravating and worsening the injury so rest is advised as even the smallest of movements or pressures can worsen the injury. Rest is also a good idea because it helps with the recovery process.
Ice, Helps with easing the swelling and pain of the sprain.
Compression, Helps with circulating blood around the ankle helping ease pain and the recover process too.
Elevation, The same as compression as elevating the affected ankle also helps with the circulation of blood and helps ease pain and recovery.
Protection and compression can be achieved by wearing an ankle support. The supports give the right compression and help improve circulation but also support your ankle in a way that helps to protect it so to stop any further pressures and tension. It is a good idea to wear ankle supports even if you are not suffering from a sprain as they are good for prevention whilst playing sports due to the improved stability the supports provide and they also provide a reduction of tension and risk of over stretching and overuse of the ankle when playing sports which would otherwise result in a sprain.
It should be noted that in the most serious cases it is recommended that the ankle should be examined by a physiotherapist.