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Signs of Ankle Sprains and Strains

Tuesday, 02 August 2022 00:00

It can be difficult to determine whether an ankle injury is a sprain or a strain, because the symptoms are similar. Common to both strains and sprains are ankle pain, swelling, and instability. However, differences in the location of the pain and its side effects can help to  indicate whether a muscle or a ligament is the cause. A strain occurs when the muscles and/or tendons in the ankle joint are stretched or torn, usually as a result of overuse. In a sprain, however, the ligaments in the affected area are torn or stretched beyond their normal range of motion. With a sprain, intense pain followed by swelling will be experienced at the site of the injury. A popping sound is likely to be heard. Bruising at the site may also occur, and there is likely to be a decrease in mobility. With a strain, the pain may be acute or appear gradually. Muscle cramps, spasms, and general weakness are common. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is wise to consult a podiatrist for a complete exam and diagnosis because ignoring the condition could lead to chronic ankle problems.

Although ankle sprains are common, they aren’t always minor injuries. If you need your ankle injury looked at, contact Dr. David Ungar from Personal Foot Care. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains are the result of a tear in the ligaments within the ankle. These injuries may happen when you make a rapid shifting movement while your foot is planted. A less common way to sprain your ankle is when your ankle rolls inward while your foot turns outward.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Pain at the sight of the tear
  • Bruising/Swelling
  • Ankle area is tender to touch
  • In severe cases, may hear/feel something tear
  • Skin discoloration

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

In many cases, the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate) is used to treat ankle sprains. However, you should see a podiatrist to see which treatment option would work best with your injury. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

It is important to ask your doctor about rehab options after you receive treatment for your injury. Stretching, strength training, and balance exercises may help the ankle heal while also preventing further injury.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Farmington and Berkley, MI . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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