Most people have experienced some degree of a sprained ankle; this number increases when you consider winter weather conditions. With the combination of snow sports and icy streets, it can be rather easy to sprain your ankle. A sprain occurs when you twist, turn, or roll your ankle and it causes the ligaments in your ankle to stretch or tear. Fortunately, many sprains can be treated with rest and ice, but there are more severe sprains that require further treatment.
What To Look For
Anyone can sprain their ankle, though those that play sports or have had a prior ankle injury are more susceptible. Causes include falling, landing awkwardly on your foot, being on an uneven surface, and more. It is hard to prevent a sprained ankle, other than being careful; even then, it can easily occur. You will want to look out for pain when you bear weight on your foot, swelling and/or bruising, and inability to fully move your foot if you believe you have sprained your ankle. If you land funny, and feel a “pop”, you definitely want to be careful, because you likely just sprained your ankle.
Assuming that your sprain is mild, treatment is simple. You can take over-the-counter pain relievers while you rest and ice the sprain. However, if you notice that there is no change after a couple of days, see a podiatrist. If you do have a more severe sprain, you need to go see a podiatrist right away. They will be able to run tests to determine the severity and the correct treatment. Some sprains can be just as severe as breaking a bone, and a cast or surgery is required. However, most are treatable with rest and ice, and maybe some physical therapy.
Overall, it is always better to be cautious when it comes to a sprain, as it can easily be more serious than it looks initially. Come to Alpine Foot Specialists if you think you have a sprain and we can recommend the best treatment possible!
Courtesy of: Mayo Clinic