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Most Palmdale Physical Therapist will tell you that ankle sprains are very common injuries and can happen when your ankle twists (stretching the ligament) during athletics, due to a fall, as well as when awkwardly stepping onto an uneven surface.

A sprained ankle can be painful, limiting your ability to walk. Usually, rest and simple at-home measures can aid a mild ankle sprain heal within a week.

However, our Palmdale Physical Therapist say that severe ankle sprains–that often involve tearing of the ligament–produce persistent pain and decreased ankle motion, and may require rehabilitation and/or operation.

Symptoms

Most men and women experience discomfort after spraining an ankle. Right after an injury, it can be hard to understand if you indeed sprained your ankle or just twisted it a bit.

Generally, with a sprain, our Palmdale Physical Therapist say the indicators are extreme and/or persist. It is generally painful to move or stand on your leg sometimes to the point of severely limiting your motion. Having a slight bump or twist, discomfort would get better within a few hours.

The most Frequent signs of an ankle sprain include:

  • Swelling of the ankle joint
  • Bruising around the ankle
  • Pain around the ankle
  • Slight difficulty bending the ankle up or down
  • Discomfort when trying to walk

Bruising moves toward the toes in the days after the ankle sprain as gravity pulls on the bloodstream down from the foot.

An ankle sprain should not cause true weakness. If your leg or foot is weak, you may have an injury that involves more than your ankle, or a broken bone, muscle impairment, or nerve damage.

When to See a Doctor

Our Palmdale Physical Therapist say moderate pain and swelling are to be expected following a simple sprained ankle, but severe ankle pain, bone pain, or inability to stand should raise concern. Hunt urgent care if any of the following apply:

  • Inability to walk on the ankle
  • Significant swelling
  • Symptoms that persist beyond a few days
  • Pain in the foot or above the ankle

Causes

An ankle sprain is an injury to the ligaments that support the ankle. Ligaments are structures that connect bones to each other inside a joint. They stabilize and help control the degree and direction of joint movements, such as in the ankle.

Our Palmdale Physical Therapist say if a ligament is stretched too far (or is partially or totally torn), a sprain occurs. This happens due to sideways or twisting movement of the foot that usually takes place when a person lands from running or jumping on an uneven surface.

For example, you can sprain your ankle if you come down from a basketball layup and land on another player’s foot. Ankle sprains also occur with routine daily activities such as stepping off a curb or slipping on ice.

Diagnosis

Ankle sprains are evaluated based on a careful physical examination. There are several ways to categorize your sprained ankle based on the location of your pain and bruising, and the extent of ligament damage.

Types

Any experienced Palmdale Physical Therapist will tell you there are 3 major categories used to describe a sprained ankle, which vary based on the management of the injury and its location.

Inversion ankle sprain: About 90 percent of ankle sprains are inversion injuries, which occur when the foot is inverted (twisting inward). This type of ankle sprain happens when any of the three lateral (outer) ligaments that support the ankle are stretched too far.

Inversion ankle sprains cause pain on the surface of the ankle, and there is usually minimal pain or no pain on the inner side of the ankle joint.

Eversion ankle sprain: When the foot is twisted outward, the internal (deltoid) ligament can stretch too far or tear. An eversion ankle sprain creates pain on the inner side of the ankle joint.

High ankle sprain: This is an injury to the ligaments straight above the ankle. These ligaments, called the syndesmosis ligaments, connect the tibia and fibula (shin bones). This kind of injury may necessitate a longer path of rehabilitation.