Ankle sprains are very common, accounting for about 40% of all sports injuries. Ankle sprain can cause swelling and pain of the ankle joint, and in serious cases, can cause damage to the joint capsule, surrounding ligaments, and articular cartilage. It can even lead to fracture of the ankle joint. Untimely or improper treatment will lead to chronic ankle pain and instability.
First aid measures: PRICE principle
To reduce swelling and pain, and to avoid further ligament damage are the treatment goals in the acute phase. For all patients with ankle sprains, the PRICE principle (Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) should be adopted first.
Strengthen the stability of the ankle joint through ankle protectors and sports tape, and carry out functional exercise as soon as possible using protective braking.
Avoid activities that cause pain, edema or discomfort.
Use ice to reduce swelling for 15-20 minutes, and ice the injury every 2-3 hours when the sufferer is conscious. If you have vascular disease, diabetes or decreased sensation, consult with your doctor before using a cold compress.
Compress the elastic bandage to reduce tissue edema. Don’t wrap too tightly so as not to block blood circulation, which could lead to necrosis.
During rest, lift the injured limb above the level of the heart which is conducive to reducing swelling.
For mild and moderate ankle sprains, it is recommended to wear ankle protectors and sports tape for 4 to 6 weeks. However, for severe ankle sprains, it is recommended to perform rigid fixation such as plaster for no more than 10 days, and then replace it with ankle protectors.
Three types of rehabilitation training
1. Sit down, slowly stretch the ankle joint to the maximum angle, feel the calf muscle stretch, hold for 10 seconds, and repeat 10 times.
2. Rotate the ankle joint downward and inward, keep the inward position for 10 seconds, and repeat 10 times.
3. Rotate the ankle joint upward and outward, keep the outward position for 10 seconds, and repeat 10 times.
4. Bend the ankle joint with the toe down as far as possible for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.
5. When the ankle joint pain is significantly reduced, the training can be carried out: stand on the edge of a step with the ankle off the step, hold for 10 seconds, and repeat 10 times; stay 30 cm away from the wall, with your toes facing the wall, keep squatting for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.
1. Rotate the ankle downward and inward, and hold the toe against a fixed object, such as a sofa, for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.
2. Rotate the ankle upward and outward, and hold the toe against a fixed object, such as a sofa, for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.
isotonic training (this training requires assistance of elastic bands)
1. Slowly flex the ankle joint to the maximum angle and repeat 10 times.
2. Stretch the ankle joint to the maximum angle as far as possible and repeat 10 times.
3. Rotate the ankle joint downward and inward, and repeat 10 times.
4. Rotate the ankle joint upward and outward 10 times.
1. Stand on a pillow with the injured leg for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.
2. Stand on a pillow with the injured leg, and fix an elastic band to the healthy limb. Extend the healthy limb backward and return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times. Extend the healthy limb forward and return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.
Untimely or improper treatment of ankle sprains can develop into chronic ankle instability, leading to chronic ankle pain. Early rehabilitation exercise under protective braking can help the ankle joint recover as soon as possible and reduce the risk of developing chronic ankle instability.
How to prevent ankle sprain
1. Warm up before exercise.
2. Be very careful when walking, running or working on uneven roads.
3. Those who have a history of ankle instability or ankle sprain must wear ankle protectors or sports tape during exercise.
4. Wear appropriate shoes during exercise.
5. Try not to wear high heels.
6. Do not participate in sports or activities that are not suitable for you.
7. Maintain good muscle strength and flexibility.
8. Carry out ankle joint stability training, including balance training.