The ankle sprain is one of the most common injuries in society, it is estimated that every 1 ligamentous ankle injury occurs per investment per 10,000 inhabitants. It represents 38% of locomotor injuries and in sports 40-50% of injuries in basketball, 16-23% in football and 20% in athletics.
An ankle sprain is a partial or total tear of the ligaments, the strong tissue bands that cross the joints and connect the bones to each other, that support the ankle when performing a movement called inversion of the foot.
The ligament serves as a stabilizer of a joint, in this case the ankle is twisted to one side or the other producing a torn ligament or sprain. The typical mechanism of the injury occurs by inversion after a sudden fall or twist of the ankle, such as treading on an irregular surface or in a hole, a bad step when running, jumping or increasing or decreasing the pace or exercising or practice sports.
First aid of a sprain
The most common symptoms are impotence to walk, local pain, swelling of the joint and bruising around the ankle. The pain gets worse when walking, standing, pressing on the painful area or moving the ankle inward.
According to Santos, it is also possible that he feels unable to move the ankle joint without feeling pain and even hearing a click in the joint at the time of injury.
If we think we suffer a sprain, a Melbourne physiotherapist advises:
1. Try not to walk or support with the affected foot if we think we may suffer a sprained ankle
2. Apply cold: we must get an ice pack to apply immediately in the area in order to prevent further spillage and swelling. “If we are at home there are solutions such as the cold gel bag or the bag of frozen peas,” says the physiotherapist.
“Ideally, it should be crushed ice because in cubes it can burn through freezing, so we should not apply the cold directly, but with a cloth or cloth to be able to withstand the application,” he explains.
3. Elevate the area while we are at rest to help the swelling does not increase in our joint, however Santos warns that it does not help to sit with your foot on a chair.
“The best thing is to lie down and put the joint over our trunk to really help drain our swollen joint,” says the physiotherapist.
4. It is important to treat the sprain and not wait for it to ‘heal’ alone: it is necessary to go to the doctor as soon as possible to confirm the type of sprain we suffer and rule out associated injuries that complicate our recovery, such as tearing or tearing of the ligament , ripping or bony fissures.
The risk of suffering a new sprain is greater in the 12 months following the initial sprain, hence the importance of curative and preventive treatment in this period of time.
“A sprain not cured or badly cured, can cause poor adaptations that cause a malfunction of other structures such as the knee, lumbalgias episodes or cervicalgias without apparent cause, when in reality a untreated ankle injury hides,” says the physiotherapist .
Regarding the possibility of performing a physiotherapy treatment, Santos points out that this can begin after the injury once the diagnosis is confirmed by the specialist doctor. Then the physiotherapist performs his functional diagnosis to determine the most appropriate physiotherapy treatment for the patient and the type of injury that is suffered.
In the restoration, the indicated exercises aim to increase the range of movement (limited by inflammation and pain), strengthen the muscles (to avoid long-term joint instability and new injuries), work on balance and coordination when It is possible to support pain-free, or perform specific activities depending on work or sport to return to the activity.
Decrease the risk of sprain
Approximately 10-30% of patients who suffer ankle sprain suffer residual sequelae. This residual pathology varies from functional instability, which can lead to a recurrent sprain, inflammation, recurrent pain and mechanical instability.
Although many ankle sprains can not be prevented, however, the risk of sprain can be reduced if the following tips are followed:
- Rest when feeling tired when doing sports or exercise.
- Do exercises that strengthen the muscles of the leg and foot.
- Wearing the right shoes for the activity we are going to do.
- Learn the proper techniques for exercise or sports: this will reduce stress on all muscles, ligaments and tendons.
- If an untreated ankle injury has occurred before, it is more likely to suffer it again, so even though there is no pain, we must conclude the physiotherapy treatment with its respective strengthening and proprioceptive work.
- Do not use ankle braces unless indicated by high laxity and instability of the patient’s ankle . This practice does not prevent the injury, instead it makes us dependent by not allowing the body to work normally at the circulatory level, in addition, the sensitive receptors that exist in the joint end up altering.