Stephen Curry sprained his ankle for the 4th time this season last week in the game against the San Antonio Spurs. It is no secret that an athlete’s feet and ankles take a beating in basketball! All of the running, jumping, cutting, quick starts and stops, and direct contact with other players can often lead to injuries. It is important to recognize the symptoms of a sprained ankle & seek the appropriate treatment.
Ankle sprains are caused by an unnatural twisting or force on the ankle bones of the foot, which may result in excessive stretching or tearing of one or more ligaments on the outside of the ankle. If not properly treated, ankle sprains may develop into long-term problems.
- Pain or soreness
- Difficulty walking
- Stiffness in the joint
WHY YOU SHOULD SEE YOUR PODIATRIST:
- An untreated ankle sprain may lead to chronic ankle instability, & weakness in the leg may also develop.
- A more severe ankle injury may have occurred along with the sprain. This might include a serious bone fracture that, if left untreated, could lead to complications.
- An ankle sprain may be accompanied by a foot injury that causes discomfort but has gone unnoticed thus far.
- Rehabilitation of a sprained ankle needs to begin right away. If rehabilitation is delayed, the injury may be less likely to heal properly.
TREATMENT: Rehabilitation is crucial—and it starts the moment your treatment begins. Your Podiatrist may recommend one or more of the following treatment options:
- Rest. Stay off the injured ankle. Walking may cause further injury.
- Ice. Apply an ice pack to the injured area, placing a thin towel between the ice and the skin. Use ice for 20 minutes and then wait at least 40 minutes before icing again.
- Compression. An elastic wrap may be recommended to control swelling.
- Elevation. The ankle should be raised slightly above the level of your heart to reduce swelling.
- Early physical therapy. Your doctor will start you on a rehabilitation program as soon as possible to promote healing and increase your range of motion. This includes doing prescribed exercises.
- Medications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be recommended to reduce pain and inflammation. In some cases, prescription pain medications are needed to provide adequate relief.
PREVENTION: Ankle sprains can be very frustrating as well as painful. There are a few things you can do to try to prevent them!
- Maintain strength, balance & flexibility in the ankle and foot
- Exercise & stretch the foot and ankle
- Wear well-fitted shoes