Ankle sprains are one of the most common musculoskeletal injuries you can experience. In fact, recent studies suggest that over two million people living in the United States sprain their ankle every year.
Since there’s a popular myth that states that doctors can’t do anything about sprained ankles, if you’ve recently sprained yours, you might be tempted to just treat it on your own. While sprained ankles can heal all on their own, it’s always beneficial to have your podiatrist examine it thoroughly and give you recommendations for proper treatment.
At Foot and Ankle Institute of Colorado in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Matthew Hinderland, DPM, Jordan Cameron, DPM, Trevor Whiting, DPM, and Joseph Fleck, DPM, want to review sprained ankles in this blog, including why it’s so important to have them evaluated and treated by medical professionals.
Explaining ankle sprains
An ankle sprain occurs when the ligaments that support and connect your ankle are torn or stretched too far. Typically, ankle sprains happen after falling or tripping on an uneven surface, landing incorrectly after a jump, or participating in sports that involve rolling your foot such as soccer.
When you sprain your ankle, you can experience symptoms such as swelling, bruising, difficulty walking, and pain when you put pressure on your ankle.
Why ankle sprains need to be professionally treated
Sprained ankles — especially severe ones — mimic symptoms of broken or fractured ankles. Plus, both broken and sprained ankles are usually caused by the same rolling and twisting motions. Because of this, it’s vital that you don’t self-diagnose an ankle sprain. Your ankle could be fractured without you realizing it, which can only stand to substantially delay the healing process.
In addition, while you can do things on your own to treat a sprained ankle, if you don’t seek professional care, you can significantly increase your risk of future ankle sprains and overall ankle instability.
What to expect from ankle sprain treatment
If you suspect that you’ve sprained your ankle, come in and see us right away. The sooner you seek treatment, the less likely it is that there will be complications.
To begin, our team physically examines your ankle in order to test your range of motion and see which ligaments are affected. We follow up that exam with an X-ray to make sure nothing is broken.
After determining the severity of your sprain, we can move on to making a treatment plan for you. This includes rest, ice, compression, and elevation (the RICE method) and taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen to reduce inflammation.
In order to reduce risk of future ankle sprains, we highly recommend physical therapy to regain strength and mobility in your ankle. This can also help with the healing process and reduce your risk of prolonged ankle pain.
Don’t wait for your sprained ankle to heal on its own. Come into Foot and Ankle Institute of Colorado for expert ankle sprain treatment. To schedule an appointment with our team, give us a call, or use our online booking tool today.