Ankle injuries are among the most common injuries affecting millions of people annually.
From sprains to fractures and tendinitis, the pain and discomfort associated with ankle injuries can be debilitating and prevent you from living your life to the fullest.
While traditional treatments such as rest, ice, and pain relievers may provide temporary relief, they do not always address the root cause of the problem.
This article will discuss what ankle injuries are, their causes, and how to treat them.
Keep reading below to find out more about ankle injuries.
Various factors, including trauma, overuse, weakness in muscles and ligaments, poor posture, and inappropriate footwear, can cause ankle injuries.
It also helps that knowing what causes them can help prevent them from happening to you.
To get a clearer picture of what we mean, here are some of the causes in detail:
Direct impact or sudden force to the ankle can result in an injury such as a sprain, dislocation, or fracture. This type of injury is often the result of a fall, sports-related injury, or a car accident.
Repetitive motions like running, jumping, and playing sports can stress the ankle and lead to overuse injuries like tendinitis or stress fractures.
Weak ankle muscles and ligaments can result in instability, making the ankle more susceptible to injury. Weakness in these structures can be due to a lack of exercise or a previous injury.
Poor posture includes walking with your feet turned out or standing for long periods on hard surfaces. Poor posture can put extra stress on the ankles and increase the risk of injury.
Wearing shoes that do not provide adequate support can increase the risk of an ankle injury. Wearing shoes with poor arch support, high heels, or shoes that do not fit properly can increase the risk of an ankle injury. Before ordering your favorite kicks, ensure they’re safe and comfortable.
As we said, it’s essential to understand the causes of ankle injuries to help prevent them from occurring and help you know how to treat them if they occur.
But you know about what causes ankle injuries aren’t enough. You also need to know the different types of ankle injuries.
We’ll discuss that in detail in the next section, so continue reading below to learn more about it.
Ankle injuries can range from mild sprains to severe fractures, and understanding the different types of ankle injuries can help with proper diagnosis and treatment.
Make sure you see a medical provider to diagnose your injury correctly.
Here are the types of ankle injuries:
A sprain occurs when the ligaments, the strong bands of tissue connecting bones, are stretched or torn. Sprains can occur from twisting or turning the ankle; symptoms include pain, swelling, and difficulty walking.
Fractures are a break in the ankle bone and can occur due to trauma, a fall, or a direct blow. Symptoms of a fracture include intense pain, swelling, and difficulty walking or bearing weight on the affected ankle.
Tendinitis is an overuse injury caused by repetitive motions, such as running or jumping, that can cause the tendons in the ankle to become inflamed. Symptoms of tendinitis include pain, swelling, and tenderness in the affected area.
A dislocation occurs when the bones in the ankle become misaligned or disjointed. This type of injury can result from a high-impact injury, such as a car accident, and can cause severe pain, swelling, and difficulty walking.
Stress fractures are small bone cracks caused by repetitive stress and overuse. These injuries are common in athletes and can cause pain, swelling, and tenderness in the affected area.
Arthritis is a degenerative joint condition that can cause pain, swelling, and limited mobility in the ankles. Causes of this disease are aging, past injuries, or genetics resulting in chronic pain and difficulty walking.
It’s essential to seek medical attention if you suspect an ankle injury, as proper diagnosis and treatment can help prevent long-term complications and promote healing. Treatment options for ankle injuries can range from rest and physical therapy to surgery, depending on the type and severity of the injury.
Ankle injuries are common, ranging from mild sprains to more severe fractures. Symptoms of an ankle injury can include pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty walking. In some cases, there may also be instability or a feeling of the ankle giving way.
Ankle injuries can cause a range of symptoms, including:
Pain may be located in the ankle, foot, or lower leg and can be sharp, dull, or throbbing, ranging from mild to severe, depending on the severity of the injury.
Swelling can occur within minutes to a few hours after the injury and can be accompanied by pain and tenderness. The affected area may feel tight, making it difficult to move the ankle.
Bruising can result from damaged blood vessels and blood leaking into the surrounding tissue. Bruising can cause discoloration, such as a purplish or black-and-blue appearance around the injured area.
Instability can occur when the ankle joint is weakened, making walking or standing on the affected leg difficult. An insatiable joint can be accompanied by a feeling of the ankle giving way or “rolling over.”
Difficulty walking can occur due to pain, swelling, or instability. In severe cases, bearing weight on the affected leg may be difficult.
Stiffness can occur after an ankle injury, making it difficult to move the joint through its full range of motion.
If you suspect an ankle injury, seeking medical attention to diagnose and treat it appropriately is essential.
Self-treating with home remedies, such as IceWraps ice packs, can be beneficial in reducing symptoms but should not replace seeking proper medical attention.
Diagnosing ankle injuries can be done through physical examinations and imaging tests.
Here are the steps involved in diagnosing ankle injuries:
The doctor will examine the affected ankle, checking for pain, swelling, tenderness, and other signs of injury. They may also perform a range of movements to assess the stability of the ankle.
The doctor will ask questions about the injury, including when it happened, how it happened, and the symptoms experienced. This information can help determine the severity of the damage.
Imaging tests such as X-rays, MRI, or CT scans can help confirm a diagnosis and determine the extent of the injury.
Your medical doctor or physical therapist can perform special tests, such as the anterior drawer or talar tilt tests, to evaluate the ankle's stability.
Watch this video to learn more about this special test:
It’s important to seek medical attention for an ankle injury, as some conditions may need prompt treatment to prevent further damage or long-term complications. Without a doubt, an accurate diagnosis is necessary for proper treatment and recovery.
Treating an ankle injury can involve conservative, medical, or surgical treatments, depending on the severity of the injury.
Here are some conservative treatments you can do:
Allowing the affected ankle to rest can help reduce pain and speed up the healing. Give yourself a break whenever you feel tired, and don’t overwork your ankle.
Applying ice to the affected area can help reduce swelling and numb pain. The cold temperature also helps lower swelling and inflammation caused by the injury. Apply ice packs to your injury for 20 minutes 2-3 times daily.
We recommend our 4’’ reusable round packs for treating ankle injuries. Its compact size makes it the perfect ice pack to help reduce pain.
Compression can help reduce swelling and support the affected ankle. Compress your ankle using compression bandages or sleeves overnight or while you sit back on your couch.
Elevating the affected ankle above heart level can help reduce swelling and improve circulation. It’s as simple as placing a pillow under your ankle when lying down, especially when sleeping.
If your injury doesn’t improve after trying out these conservative methods, medical treatments are still available for you to try.
Here are some of them:
Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, can help manage pain. Make sure to speak with your doctor before taking any medications.
Anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can help reduce swelling and numb pain.
Undergoing physical therapy can help improve mobility and strengthen the affected ankle. Your physical therapist can also give you exercises to do at home and identify activity modifications to prevent re-injury.
Watch this video to understand what your physical therapy sessions will look like:
In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair damaged tissues or stabilize the ankle. Surgical procedures can include ankle arthroscopy, ankle fusion, or ankle replacement.
It’s important to seek medical attention for an ankle injury, as some conditions may require prompt treatment to prevent further damage or long-term complications.
Your doctor will help determine the best course of treatment based on the severity of the injury and your individual needs.
Poor muscle strength and bad posture can contribute to your risk of ankle injuries. Addressing these issues through strengthening and improving posture can help prevent ankle injuries.
Preventing ankle injuries can be done by following a few simple steps:
Wearing shoes that fit correctly and provide support can help reduce the risk of ankle injuries. Using poorly fitting shoes won’t offer sufficient stability, increasing your risk of injuring your ankle.
Stretching before physical activity can help improve flexibility and reduce the risk of injury. Be sure to hold the stretch firmly and slowly to prevent injuries from occurring.
Strengthening exercises can help improve the stability and strength of the ankle, reducing the risk of injury. Research has shown that resistance exercises increase the strength of the body part being worked. An increase in strength likely results in better stability, resulting in fewer chances of injury.
Watch this video to learn more about ankle strengthening exercises:
Improving posture can help distribute weight evenly and reduce the risk of injury to the ankle. This can also include how you sit down at a desk, how you sleep on your bed, or how you walk.
Increasing physical activity gradually can help the body adjust and reduce the risk of injury. It’s a good idea to exercise 3-5 times a week, using moderate exercises. However, it’s best to consult your physician before you begin a new workout routine.
These simple steps can reduce the risk of ankle injuries and help you enjoy a more active lifestyle.
In conclusion, ankle injuries can range in severity and are caused by various factors.
Symptoms may include pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty walking. The best approach to treatment will depend on the severity of the injury and should be determined by a medical professional.
In managing ankle injuries, it's important to take prompt and proper treatment and follow simple steps to reduce the risk of future injuries. These steps include wearing proper footwear, stretching before physical activity, strengthening ankle muscles, improving posture, and gradually increasing physical activity.
In summary, prompt and appropriate treatment and prevention are vital to managing ankle injuries and improving overall health and mobility.
If you get injured, remember to speak with a professional to get the best care. Browse our website to shop for products that can help treat your ankle injuries.
Here at IceWraps, relief is a click away!
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