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What is an ankle sprain ?
Most people have twisted or injured an ankle joint at some stage in their life. Iif your ankle gets swollen and/or painful after you have twisted it, you have most likely sprained it (if not worse). To “sprain” means that you have overstretched and possibly even torn the ligaments of your ankle. Whilst ankle sprains are common, they are not necessarily always minor injuries. Some people with repeated or severe sprains can develop long-term joint pains and weakness. Treating the deeper causes of a sprained ankle can help greatly in preventing further future ankle problems.
What causes ankle sprains ?
Most ankle sprains occur as you make a sudden movement with your foot not well positioned on the ground. Such as when you are hill walking or running on uneven footpaths. Commonly the ankle rolls outward and the plantar of the foot rotates inward. This results in the ligaments on the outside of the ankle becoming stretched or even torn. Infrequently the ankle rolls inward and the foot turns outward. If this ever does occur then the ligaments along the inside of the ankle can be damaged.
The severity of an ankle sprain can range greatly from mild to severe. It really depends on how badly the ligament is damaged and how many ligaments are injured. With a mild sprain, the ankle may be tender, swollen, and stiff. But it usually feels stable, and you can walk with little pain. A more serious sprain might include bruising and tenderness around the ankle, and walking is painful. If an ankle sprain is severe, then the ankle is very unstable. You might not even be able to walk on it, because the area is too painful.
What are the symptoms ?
With most sprains, you feel pain right away around the immediate location of the injury. Often the ankle starts to swell quickly and bruising may be visible very soon after. The ankle area is commonly tender to touch, and it often hurts if it is moved or stood upon.
In more severe sprains, you may hear and/or feel something tear, along with a pop or snap. You will probably have extreme pain at first and will not be able to walk or even put weight on your foot. Usually, the more pain and swelling you have, the more severe your ankle sprain is and the longer it will take to heal.