OUCH!!! I twisted it again..........
Why do we keep spraining our ankles?
Do you remember the first time you sprained your ankle? Well, this is where we need to start!
Did you know when you sprain your ankle, you are stretching the ligaments that support the ankle joint (Talocrural Articulation). Now you maybe thinking who cares if the ligaments stretch, our body heals. I hate to burst your bubble but ligaments do not heal like the rest of our body. The lack of blood flow to them is the reason. Without blood flow our body can not heal; blood carries cells that repair our tissues.
There are 2 types of ankle sprains:
1. The most common sprain is a lateral sprain which is the least severe of the two. A lateral sprain effects the anterior talofibular, calcaneofibular, and posterior talofibular ligaments.
2. The least common of an ankle sprain is a medial sprain. This is the hardest to occur hence, the severity it can beckon. The deltoid ligaments are the ligaments injured in a medial sprain.
Of course there is complexity to our anatomy and grades of severity for any injury but I just want to give you the basics to help you become aware and become in-tuned with your body.
When treating a sprain, here is what you nee to know:
1. Rest - Only used short term. Pain free movement while elevated is recommended. Resting too long slows the healing process and cause greater adhesion's
2. Ice - Only use for 2 - 3 days as ice reduces blood flow. Ice for max 15 minutes 3 times per day
3. Lymphatic drainage - Lessons edema a natural occurring fluid that acts like a splint
Day 3 on
1. Contrast therapy - The contrast between two temperatures will increase blood flow (heat) and reduce inflammation (cool). This helps speed up the healing process. Use heat 4 - 6 minutes (use a wet hand towel or tea towel, heat it up in microwave for approximately a minute) followed by a cool cloth 1 - 2 minutes. Repeat 3 - 6 times for maximum of 20 - 30 minutes each time.
2. Pain free active movement - use cane or crutches for support
3. Exercise - A program is designed to stress the injured tissue to stimulate recovery
4. Analgesics - A controversial topic - please use sparingly if you choose to take
Here are 2 exercise videos targeting the inversion and eversion muscles of the foot that will support your ankle preventing continuous ankle sprains that you may occur.
Eversion - https://youtu.be/x7V2fPbaLX8
Inversion - https://youtu.be/48njNPxPZnk