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Ankle Sprain / Strain

This video features one of our patients, Courtney, who came to Airrosti suffering from a bilateral ankle sprain. She came into her appointment using crutches and walked out on her own two feet. Because Airrosti treats pain directly at the source without painful injections or surgeries, it only takes an average of three visits for our patients to get back to their active lifestyles, pain free. Learn more about what to expect at your first Airrosti visit.

Ankle Sprain

A sprained ankle is a very common injury. Approximately 25,000 people experience it each day. A sprained ankle can happen to athletes and non-athletes, children, and adults. It can happen when you take part in sports and other physical activities. It can also happen when you simply step on an uneven surface or step down at an angle.

The ligaments of the ankle hold the bones and joint in position. They protect the ankle joint from abnormal movements, especially twisting, turning, and rolling of the foot. When a ligament is forced to stretch beyond its normal range, a sprain occurs. A severe sprain causes actual tearing of the elastic fibers. The most common ankle sprain occurs on the lateral or outside part of the ankle.

When a sprain occurs, blood vessels will leak fluid into the tissue that surrounds the joint. Along with inflammation, swelling from the fluid and pain is experienced. The nerves in the area become more sensitive, so pain is felt as throbbing and will worsen when pressure is placed on the area. Warmth and redness are also seen as blood flow is increased. Also present is a decreased ability to move the joint, and difficulty using the affected leg. Depending on the severity of the sprain, a person may or may not be able to put weight on the foot.

Some people are predisposed to ankle sprains. In people with a hindfoot varus, which means that the general nature or posture of the heels is slightly turned toward the inside, these injuries are more common. This is because it is easier to turn on the ankle. In those who have had a severe sprain in the past, it is also easier to turn the ankle and cause a new sprain. Therefore, one of the risk factors of spraining the ankle is having instability. Those who have weak muscles may be more predisposed. Risk factors also include those activities, such as basketball and jumping sports, in which an individual can come down on and turn the ankle.

Traditional Treatment Options

Sprains and strains are common among the athletic community. Unfortunately, the lengthy recovery process typically associated with traditional treatment of these injuries often negatively impacts an entire season and significantly derails training progress. Traditional treatment usually involves rest and several weeks of physical therapy to rebuild strength and range of motion. During this treatment/recovery period, patients are typically advised to avoid strenuous activity as there is a high occurrence of re-injury or the development of chronic problems.

The grade of the sprain dictates treatment, as well as the patient’s ability to bear weight on the ankle. Those patients who cannot bear weight are often prescribed a removable walking boot until they can comfortably do so.  High ankle sprains take considerably longer to heal than other sprains.

If you’re a professional or amateur athlete who can’t afford to sit on the sidelines for several weeks, or if you’re just a fitness enthusiast who loves staying active and healthy, consider Airrosti. Our quality care approach helps rapidly speed recovery of your injury, and most patients are able to return to activity immediately (even while treatment is still in progress).

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