From Harmless Movement to Painful Sprains
Anyone can suffer from ankle sprains. Young and old. Weekend warriors and trained athletes. We sprain our ankles running, walking on uneven surfaces, missing a step while climbing stairs and even just from stepping out of bed. In fact, 25,000 people sprain their ankles every day both from athletic activities and day-to- day normal missteps. When you sprain your ankle, your friends at Chiron Physical Therapy are ready to help.
Ankle Sprains Explained The ligaments surrounding the ankle are surprisingly fragile. Ankle ligaments are elastic structures that hold the ankle joint together to prevent (or minimize) excessive twisting and turning that can lead to injury. These ligaments are able to stretch slightly to accommodate normal movements, but as with everything, they have an inherent limit. When they are stretched beyond their natural limits, the result is a painful sprain.
What happens when I sprain my ankle? Blood rushes into the injured area causing inflammation. The ankle swells up causing increased sensitivity of the nerves leading to pain. Attempting to move the ankle, standing or walking on it can be extremely painful. The injured ankle might also become red and overly warm because of the increased blood flow.
First Steps to Recovery: The main goal in the early stages is to reduce inflammation. Apply ice as quickly as possible in order to minimize swelling. Ice also helps to reduce the pain, redness and warmth common to ankle sprains. In addition, elevate your ankle above your heart. This will facilitate healing and help your body absorb the fluid that has flooded into the tissue surrounding the injured area.
CHIRON is here to Help! The muscles surrounding a sprained ankle often tighten and shorten, resulting in decreased range of motion. As a result, your ankle is more prone to re-injury unless you stretch and strengthen those muscles. This is where your friends at Chiron jump in to help.
Our physical therapists will work with you to retrain the muscles and ligaments surrounding the injured area in order to help you get back on your feet as quickly as possible. We will build your strength, improve your balance and flexibility and increase your endurance. Our hands-on care combined with customized treatments may include biomechanical assessment of alignment, function, strength and/or range of motion. Joint and soft tissue mobilization will help increase tissue flexibility, decrease pain and swelling and promote healing.
If you experience pain or suffer an injury while participating in your sport or activity, call us immediately. A prompt evaluation may save you from a more serious injury and will speed up the healing the process. Remember, your friends at Chiron Physical Therapy of VA are Direct Access certified meaning you can come directly to us for evaluation and treatment without first seeing your medical doctor.