A sprained ankle is one of the most common physical problems known. There are about 2 million sprained ankles in the United States each year. They account for 20% of all sports injuries.
And today I’ll show you exactly how you can treat your sprained ankle fast.
I explain the cause, symptoms, and treatment of a sprained ankle with 2 exercises.
I’ll also describe the difference between a grade 1, 2, and 3 ankle sprain and what it means for your recovery time.
This is what you will learn today:
So keep reading.
Sprained ankle cause
First, you have to know something about the ankle’s anatomy to understand what happens when you sprained your ankle and how to treat it.
Your ankle is a combination of two joints.
Your Tibia, Fibula, and Talus together form your ankle joint. This joint is called the Talocrural Joint.
Your tibia is also known as the shinbone, and your fibula is also known as the calf bone.
Together they form the Crural Fork, where the Talus fits in perfectly.
That is why it is called the Talocrural Joint. The tibia and fibula are held together by two ligaments: The anterior and posterior tibiofibular ligaments.
Your Talus, Calcaneus (heel bone), and Navicular bone together form the second joint of your ankle. Therefore it’s called the Talocalcaneonavicular joint.
The essential function of the Talocrural Joint is the mobility of the Talocalcaneonavicular Joint and the stability of your foot.
A sprained ankle is, in fact, a lesion of the ligament caused by inversion trauma. That type of injury is also known as a twisted ankle.
Here is what happens:
When you walk on unstable ground, the ligaments and muscles surrounding your ankle stabilize the joint. When you suddenly twitch your ankle, your muscles have to react quickly to stop the unwanted movement.
The unwanted movement is usually towards inversion because of the ankle joint’s shape.
When the response of your muscles is too slow, the movement applies tension to the ligaments. The stress will slow down the action even further. Unfortunately, sometimes the force is so strong that it sprains or ruptures the ligament.
When that happens, you have a sprained ankle. A sprained ankle caused by an inversion trauma is the most common, but an eversion trauma also occurs occasionally.
Sprained ankle symptoms
The symptoms of your sprained ankle depend on the severity of the sprain. I’ll discuss the first 3 sprained ankle grades. Grade 4 is a fracture and should be treated by a doctor.
A grade 1 ankle sprain is the most common and only affects the anterior talofibular ligament, causing an overstretch of the ligament.
Usually, it will cause only minor swelling, minimal pain, and no coloring of the ankle. You will be able to walk quite well. The recovery time for a grade 1 ankle sprain is usually less than two weeks.
A grade 2 ankle sprain damages the first ligament and stretches the second one in your ankle as well slightly. There is a little bit more coloring versus a grade 1 ankle sprain. There is also more swelling and pain present in a grade 2 ankle sprain than in a grade 1 sprain. Walking is usually the more difficult first week, but then the symptoms will slowly disappear. The recovery time of a grade 2 ankle sprain is usually 2-4 weeks.
A grade 3 ankle sprain is a complete tear of the anterior talofibular ligament. A grade 3 ankle sprain causes much more swelling, pain, and coloring than a grade 2 ankle sprain. Walking will be hard but not impossible. When you are unable to walk, it’s more likely that you broke your ankle. The recovery time of a grade 3 ankle sprain is usually 4-6 weeks.
Sprained ankle treatment with two exercises
The most important thing is to let your body do the work it needs to do. That means that it has to be able to repair the damaged tissue.
I would recommend you gently massage the most painful side of your ankle, to increase the blood flow. You can use this massage oil to do so. It will reduce your pain immediately and enable you to walk sooner. When you become mobile again, your sprained ankle recovers quicker.
Secondly, you have to try and keep using your foot without increasing the pain too much. With a grade 1 ankle sprain, this is usually not a problem.
But with a grade 2 or even Grade 3 ankle sprain, this might be painful in the first few weeks.
In this case, you might consider wearing a brace to stabilize your ankle. This way, you can keep using him without the risk of damaging it. Supporting the ankle will speed up your recovery.
You can also buy a compression sleeve to reduce swelling. That will also reduce the pain in your ankle, making it easier to walk.
Sprained ankle exercise 1: Restore the stability of your ankle
The first exercise we are going to perform is designed to increase the stability of your ankle. When you train the control of your ankle, you will put a load on the damaged tissue. Your body needs this load to repair the ligament correctly.
This exercise also works preventively in the future, reducing the chance of it ever happening again.
After you’ve sprained your ankle, the ligaments will never be as tight as they were before. That’s why your ankle can stay a little unstable in the future.
Training your ankle muscles to react faster to any sudden movement will overcome that problem.
The exercise goes like this:
- Stand on your painful leg
- Bend your knee slightly and keep looking forward
- Try to hold this position as long as possible
- Repeat this several times a day
You can also find the YouTube video here on how to perform this exercise.
In the first few days, it will hard enough to perform this exercise this way.
When you’ve trained it for a few days, you will notice that it becomes easier.
To make it harder, you can perform the exercise with your eyes closed.
The final stage of difficulty you have to perform to prevent you from twisting your ankle is by doing the exercise on a balance cushion.
When you’re able to do this, you know that your ankle is strong and healthy again.
Sprained ankle exercise 2: Increase the strength of your foot muscles
The second exercise is intended to increase the power of your foot and lower leg. Usually, after you’ve sprained your ankle, you do not walk much for a few days.
Rest reduces the strength in your foot and leg muscles. To increase the power and aid the healing process, you can perform the following exercise.
The exercise goes like this:
- Stand on two feet with your legs spread slightly
- Now stand on your toes and slowly come down again
- Repeat this ten times
You can also find the YouTube video of the exercise here.
Perform this exercise 3 times and two times a day. If it is too easy, you can also perform the activity on one leg. You can even add weight for more strength.
As you can see, treating your sprained ankle isn’t that hard to do. You have to be patient and perform the right exercises.
If you still have questions after reading all of this, please send me an e-mail, and I will try to answer them.
Good luck with your recovery.
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