Vivomed – Ankle Sprains | Treatment & Management

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Vivomed – Ankle Sprains | Treatment & Management

Ankle injuries are one of the most common acute, musculoskeletal injuries. An appropriate course of treatment & management is essential to prevent chronic joint instability. A sprained ankle is often defined as the tearing or hyper-extension of the ligaments on the inside or outside of the ankle. Picking up an injury of this nature almost always requires complete rest from any sport which involves full body weight support on the ankles. This would encompass sports like; Football, running, golf & rugby, amongst many others.

Ankle Sprain
Ankle Sprain Treatment
Ankle sprains fall into one of Three grades;
  • Grade I- Partial tear of the ligament (Mildly tender & noticeable swelling)
  • Grade II- Incomplete tear of a ligament (Moderate pain & noticeable swelling)
  • Grade III- Complete tear of the ligament (Severe swelling, loss of function, severe ecchymosis)
Causes of Ankle sprains

The most common cause of ankle sprains occurs when the foot suddenly rolls or turns in a way, which forces the ankle joint out of its normal position. Lateral sprains occur when the lower leg rolls over the ankle to the lateral side, causeing the bottom of the foot to turn inward (foot inversion). While medial sprains occur when the lower leg rolls over the medial side, causing the foot to move outward (foot eversion). A previous injury of the ankle joint may predispose an individual to recurring injury, while muscular imbalances may also have an influence.

Examples include; Turning abruptly in a football game, gymnasts landing, rolling the ankle whilst running on an uneven surface.

Ankle Sprain Treatment & Maintenance

The initial priority of treatment is to reduce & control the inflammation and swelling. A useful acronym to use is “RIPE”;

  • Rest- Avoid all ankle weight bearing exercises to allow initiation of the healing process.
  • Ice- Helps naturally reduce both pain & swelling. A useful product is the Iceband ankle brace, which provides effective post injury cryotherapy for the ankle joint whilst also offering some support.
  • Painkillers- If ice does not provide adequate pain relief/symptom control, it may be time to use painkillers. Paracetamol should be the first option, followed by ibuprofen if the former proves ineffective. This is available in both the oral & topical form. Alternatively the cryotherapy method may be used by using a product such as “Biofreeze”.
  • Elevation- Ensure the ankle remains in an elevated position to help reduce swelling.

Recovery from a sprain takes a minimum of six weeks, although recovery will vary from athlete to athlete & the grade of sprain (see above). As part of the recovery process, it is important to incorporate a range of rehabilitation exercises including; active plantar flexion and dorsi-flexion.

There are a wide range of support products which help accelerate the healing process & provide future protection from re-occurrence.

  • Ankle braces offers support in the event of slight or virtually restored ankle sprains.
  • A walker boot may be required to stabilise the foot & prevent any unnecessary movement in severe ankle sprains.
  • The Aircast Dorsal Night Splint provides tailored dorsiflexion and optimal comfort for pain relief from plantar fasciitis & ankle sprains.
  • The vivomed ankle tape offers more control of stabilising the ankle joint that has been weakened or damaged due to injury.

 

 

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