Ankle Sprains

Walking a mile in someone else’s shoes may result in an ankle sprain if the shoes you are borrowing are heels. Many sprained ankles actually occur as the result of an ankle “rolling” out of high heeled shoes, or from a misstep that causes a fall. Women are not the only ones at risk for these painful injuries, however. Athletes are common sprained ankle patients as well. If you have sprained your ankle for any reason, and you experience swelling and pain severe enough to impede your walking ability, Advance Health and Wellness can help you get back on your feet.

Most people have probably injured an ankle at some point in their lives, whether from wearing ill-fitting shoes and boots, walking in heels, playing sports, stepping off a curb, or falling down stairs. Often times these “twists” to the ankle do not require doctor visits and can be treated by simply staying off the associated foot or taking some over the counter pain relief. Wrapping the injured ankle or wearing a brace can also help. If you hear a pop or snap sound, feel mild or intense pain, see bruising or swelling, or have some instability in the joint, you may be experiencing a sprain that needs more professional attention.

A sprain is actually an injury to the ligaments in your ankle. Though they are meant to flex, ligaments can stretch too far or even snap.  The majority of ankle sprains result from a quick shift in movement with your foot stationary, like when getting tackled in football or taking a wrong step in heels. The ankle joint typically rolls out while the foot rolls the opposite direction. This causes the outer ligaments in the ankle to stretch or even be torn completely. In some rare instances, the ankle will roll in as the foot rolls out, resulting in damage to the inner ligaments of the ankle.

Anyone can take a faulty step and put too much force on the ankle in the wrong direction, but certain people are more susceptible to ankle sprains. Anyone with preexisting ankle injuries, genetic predispositions to weak joints including the ankle, athletes in sports that require quick directional changes such as football and soccer, runners in track and field or cross country, and anyone wearing shoes that may not fit correctly or do not have appropriate support are more likely to sprain their ankles.

There are three different levels, or “grades” of ankle sprains, depending on the severity of the stretch or tear, and the amount of resulting pain. Grade I sprains may not keep you off your feet and you may not seek help, thinking it is not severe enough to warrant the cost. Grade III sprains, however, could cause you to not be able to put any pressure on your foot, and thus not be able to walk. Regardless of which grade sprain you have, it is best to see a professional to ascertain the damage, keeping you from experiencing recurring ankle issues in the future.