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Mitchell Wachtel D.P.M.

Ankle Sprains - Best Practices for Proper Healing

All it takes is stepping on uneven ground, or landing from a jump awkwardly, and you experience a searing pain in your ankle and are unable to put weight on your foot. Ankle sprains are just one of the many types of foot injury we see on a daily basis. It is much easier than people think to sprain your ankle, and you do not have to be an athlete for it to happen to you.

What is an Ankle Sprain?

A sprain is another word for a stretched or torn ligament. It happens when the ankle goes beyond its normal range of motion or turns in an unnatural direction. The biggest cause of an ankle sprain is a misstep where the foot is planted on the ground with a lot of force (such as during physical activity). Anyone can suffer from an ankle sprain, children, the elderly, women, men, athletes, or people who live a sedentary lifestyle. There are three different levels of severity with Grade 1 being a slight over-stretch, Grade 2 being a partial tear, and Grade 3 being a complete tear. You will feel pain and most likely see swelling. It may be difficult to walk on the sprained foot.

Treatment of an Ankle Sprain

If you rolled your ankle and now you are feeling pain, it is important to start treatment right away to avoid further damage to the ligament. It is in your best interest to seek medical attention, because your doctor will want to rule out a broken bone. You will probably wear a protective brace for a while to give your foot support and cushioning. It is advised to not walk on the injured foot until the pain is completely gone, so in the meantime you might use crutches or a wheelchair to get around. Putting ice on your foot and wearing a compression bandage will help with the swelling, as will taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. Always check with your doctor before taking any medications. You should also elevate your foot to keep bruising from occurring.

After you are able to walk on your foot again, you will want to build up your strength. You can do this by participating in physical therapy and doing stretching or range-of-motion exercises. The best way to keep your ankle from getting sprained is prevention. Before you engage in physical activity make sure your feet are properly warmed up, and wear supportive shoes. Always watch where you are walking, especially on uneven surfaces such as sand or dirt.

Ankle Sprains Need Medical Attention

You should not let an ankle sprain heal without the help of a medical professional. Improperly healed sprains leave you vulnerable to chronic ankle problems for the rest of your life. If you have recently suffered a sprain call Dr. Mitchell Wachtel, podiatrist North Andover, today at 888-616-2512 or schedule your appointment online. For your convenience we offer service at three different office locations in Massachusetts. Do not assume that your foot will just get better by itself. It is important to get the proper treatment and care that is required. We are here to get you and your feet back to full strength.