Don't Get Your Ankles In A Twist...

Don't Get Your Ankles In A Twist!

You thought the family playing a round of touch football before the big game would be a better alternative to them trashing the house, but there are twists in every great plan… ankle twists to be more specific.

More accurately, a twisted ankle is a sprained ankle. Sprains occur when a ligament is stressed to the point of tearing. Ligaments, of course, are the fibers that connect your bones to other bones. These are different from tendons as tendons are the fibers that connect muscles to bone (an injury to your tendons would actually be a strain). Your ligaments give the structural stability that keeps your joints from going outside of their normal range of motion, so a sprain occurs when that joint your ligaments are trying to control breaks out of that range.

The way a sprain is treated depends on the severity of the injury. A severe sprain, such as an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear, requires lots of rest and surgical repair, followed by physical therapy to help the injury heal. No matter the severity of the injury, the sprain needs to be challenged in a safe way. Ligaments are made up of soft tissue collagen, and every 180 days that collagen regrows and reforms. With this in mind, it becomes clear why someone who has a sprain should put a healthy amount of stress on it for it to heal properly. If you just lie around and don’t put any good stress on the injury then the ligaments will not heal properly. If the ligaments heal wrong the fibers won’t line up right.

Don’t put too much stress on a sprain, though, as that can also damage the ligaments. For the first couple of days after injury, try to rest. Keep your injured joint elevated and compressed. Treat it with ice to reduce swelling around the injury. Head slowly back into moving around and stressing the joint. Don’t push yourself to the point where it hurts too much to move. Just keep the joint active so the ligaments will align and heal properly. Some sprains may require medical attention and physical therapy to recover from, depending on their severity. If the sprain is a recurring injury you should seek out physical therapy as the injury probably never healed properly and needs to be retrained.

If your loved one twists their ankle, bring them to HealthCARE Express where you don’t need an appointment and there’s barely any wait time, so they can be back home before the real game starts!