Ankle sprains are very common and vary in severity. If left untreated, they can develop into a chronic problem. However, quick and proper treatment can lead to a faster recovery with often very few remnants of the injury if the sprain was mild to begin with.
Most ankle sprains occur as the foot is forced inward. There are three lateral ankle ligaments that are most susceptible to injury. The lateral ankle sprain is common due to the increased range of motion available with inward foot motion, but a medial ankle sprain is also possible given the appropriate circumstance. High ankle sprains involve soft tissue higher up on the lower leg, and typically are more difficult to treat and take longer to heal.
Symptoms include swelling around the lateral ankle, pain with movement, pain while applying weight or pressure to the foot, and decreased range of motion at the ankle. The symptoms will vary depending on severity and location of the ankle sprain.
Early, pain-free, movement will help maintain or regain range of motion. Elevation will help control swelling; weight bearing as soon as it is comfortable is helpful in regaining muscle strength. It is important to strengthen the ankle before a return to activity with resistance exercises and proprioception exercises. Proper footwear and full pain-free range of motion are also important before returning to activity. It is also wise to return gradually with functional testing in the environment before being released to 100% participation.
See the attached article for more prevention and treatment details for ankle sprains. Ankle Sprains
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