Friday, March 11, 2011

Common Ankle Injuries

With springtime rapidly approaching, the days are getting sunnier and warmer, enticing people to play outdoors. During outdoor exercise and activity, the ankle is one of the most vulnerable and easily injured components of the body. The most common ankle injury is the ankle sprain, also known as a rolled ankle, twisted ankle, or ankle ligament injury. An ankle sprain is very common and surprisingly easy to do... but thankfully, it is also very treatable. Here are some of the basic facts about sprained ankles.

A sprained ankle occurs when your ankle moves in a way that it is not supposed to move. This includes jumping and landing on your ankle incorrectly or stepping laterally incorrectly while playing sports. Many basketball players have had this common injury occur because of the lateral motion and jumping that is part of the game. Tennis is another sport that is no stranger to sprained ankles.

There are three types of sprained ankle injuries: inversion, eversion and high ankle sprains. Inversion is when you roll your ankle on the outside of the foot. This is the most common type of sprain with over 90% of sprains consisting of inversion sprains. Eversion is when the ankle rolls on the inside of the foot and high ankle injuries occur from a sudden outward twisting motion of the foot.

Ankle sprains are classified into three classes. Class 1 sprain occurs when the ligaments are only minimally damaged. Class 2 sprains occur when there is some tearing of the ligaments. Class 3 is the classification of the most severe tears and ankle injuries.

A sprained ankle creates swelling and inflammation in the ankle. It might be hard to put pressure on the ankle since the nerves in the ankle become more sensitive.

The best way to treat most sprained ankles is through RICE - rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

Rest: try not to use the ankle whenever possible. This includes staying away from sports and exercise.

Ice: Icing the ankle can reduce swelling. You can use cold therapy wraps or professional cold therapy systems. Just make sure you do not ice it for too long - 20 minute increments should suffice.

Compression: Ankle braces are known to improve ankle injuries. Ankle braces range from simple ace bandages to laced ankle braces to even high-tech hinged ankle braces. Braces provide support for the ankle. Compression braces/bandages also help push swelling away from the ankle and toward the body.

Elevation: Elevating the ankle above the heart aids in reducing swelling.

Sprained ankles can be a pain and debilitate a key part of our body. The good thing is that most twisted ankles can be healed but only with proper treatment. Remember, rest, ice, use a ankle brace and your ankle will be healed promptly.

About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a wholesale medical supplier specializing in diabetic footwear, cold therapy systems and various medical braces. Please visit for more information.