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Sprained Ankle

Ankle sprains are very common injuries in modern wushu, cross country running, soccer, volleyball etc. A sprain is when you overstretch or tear one ore more ligaments, tendons or muscles. Ankle sprains usually occur when you twist or tip over the edge of the foot. For example when you run and step into a hole or slip from the sidewalk, so that the weight of your body tears tendons, ligaments, etc. Most ankle sprains happen on the outside of the foot. Find more information about sports injuries at injuries main.

Description: Sprained Ankle

  • In the illustration above you can se the bone structure of the ankle and 3 tendons. A sprain is when you overstretch or tear one or more ligaments, tendons or muscles. In most cases the talo fibula (tendon 2) is injured. In worse cases the calcaneo fibula (tendon 3) is injured too.
  • Ankle sprains are divided into 3 categories. 1st degree sprains aren't that serious and only require 2 or 3 weeks rest. 3rd degree sprains are very serious and often require surgery.
    • 1st Degree Ankle Sprains: Some stretching or tearing of ankle ligaments. The ankle might swell up a bit but the pain isn't too bad. You can still walk, but you are not advised to run or jump.
    • 2nd Degree Ankle Sprains: Tearing of ligaments and tendons. The ankle swells up and then becomes stiff. Waking hurst and running is impossible. One side of the foot might turn blue.
    • 3rd Degree Ankle Sprains: Total rupture of a ligament. In the worst case pieces of the bone even break off too. Walking hurts a lot and the ankle swells up. First it hurts a lot and the pain goes away. One or both sides of the foot become blue.

Symptoms: Sprained Ankle

  • 1st degree sprained ankle symptoms:
    Stretching or tearing of the lateral ankle ligaments. Little pain and little or no joint instability of the joint. Ankle might swell up and become stiff bit. Walking and running uncomfortable.
  • 2nd degree sprained ankle symptoms:
    Tearing tendons and ligaments. Ankle feels instable. Walking hurts and running is impossible Ankle swells up and then becomes stiff. The ankle might become blue after a few hours.
  • 3rd degree sprained ankle symptoms:
    Total rupture of a ligament. In the worst case parts of the bone can break off with the tendon. The joint is very instable. Very painful at the beginning. Joint swells up and then becomes blue on one or both sides.

Who is susceptible: Sprained Ankle

  • People with a 1st degree ankle sprains are susceptible for 2nd and 3rd degree ankle sprains if they don't rest.
  • Somebody who didn't recover 100 percent from his last ankle sprain.
  • Anybody who jumps into an uneven and hard ground. (for example when you do wushu jumps into a sandpit but don't dig the sand soft enough)
  • People who never stretch and warm up.
  • Playing wild soccer on a sticky floor is one of the most common causes for ankle sprains.

Treatment: Sprained Ankle

  • First of all consult DR.ICE
    D = Get a DIAGNOSIS from a sports injury specialist as soon as possible.
    R = REST, Rest, Rest. Don't exercise.
    Training = blood stream and blood stream = bleeding & slower recovery.
    I = Apply ICE to slow down the bleeding, calm down the swelling and reduce pain.
    C = COMPRESSION to prevent bleeding.
    E = and ELEVATION to slow down the blood stream again. Lie down and put your foot over heart level. Gravity does the rest. The last 4 points are for the first 72 hours after the injury. Don't do any rehabilitation exercises during the first 3 days.
  • A doctor may take an x-ray picture, prescribe anti inflammatory medication and an ankle rehabilitation program:
    • Rehab exercises
    • Massage techniques
    • Ultra sound and/or laser treatments.
    • etc.
  • When your doctor gives you an OK, you start exercising again.

Trainer advice: Sprained Ankle

  • Warm up and stretch before every workout.
  • If you are recovering from an ankle sprain, take enough rest and do your rehabilitation exercises before you go back an intensive training routine.
  • When you do acrobatic jumps, check landing area before you jump.
  • Don't do cross country runs when it's dark. You could step into a hole and sprain your ankle.
  • Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation are for the first 72 hours after an ankle sprain occurs. Apply ice as soon as possible. The earlier the better.

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