It can be difficult to determine whether an ankle injury is a sprain or a strain, because the symptoms are similar. Common to both strains and sprains are ankle pain, swelling, and instability. However, differences in the location of the pain and its side effects can help to indicate whether a muscle or a ligament is the cause. A strain occurs when the muscles and/or tendons in the ankle joint are stretched or torn, usually as a result of overuse. In a sprain, however, the ligaments in the affected area are torn or stretched beyond their normal range of motion. With a sprain, intense pain followed by swelling will be experienced at the site of the injury. A popping sound is likely to be heard. Bruising at the site may also occur, and there is likely to be a decrease in mobility. With a strain, the pain may be acute or appear gradually. Muscle cramps, spasms, and general weakness are common. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is wise to consult a podiatrist for a complete exam and diagnosis because ignoring the condition could lead to chronic ankle problems.
Ankle sprains are common but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Kokomo Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?
Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.
What Are the Symptoms?
- Mild to moderate bruising
- Limited mobility
- Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)
Preventing a Sprain
- Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
- Stretching before exercises and sports
- Knowing your limits
Treatment of a Sprain
Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity. Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.
If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Contact Us . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.