A sprained ankle can occur when the ankle twists in an unnatural way. If you have sustained an ankle sprain, it is best to have a podiatrist examine it. Injured ankle joints that do not heal correctly can cause chronic discomfort and ankle instability. At Foot & Ankle Specialists of Connecticut in Danbury, New Milford, and Plainville, CT, and serving the New Britain, Bristol, Southington, Farmington, New Fairfield, and Ridgefield, CT, areas, our experienced podiatrists, Dr. Joseph Treadwell, Dr. Christian Davis, and Dr. Rihamary Jimenez, can develop a treatment plan for healing your sprained ankle.
Causes of Sprained Ankles
If the ankle twists in a direction that is not in line with the foot, the joint can become sprained. When the ankle twists in the wrong direction, the ligaments of the ankle can become stretched out. In some cases, the ligaments can even tear if they are stretched too far. Once sprained, the ankle needs time to heal. Without proper healing, chronic discomfort and instability can occur. The following factors and activities can increase the risk of sustaining a sprained ankle:
- Jogging on uneven or rough surfaces, such as trails
- Participating in sports with a lot of jumping, such as basketball
- Performing high-impact movements, such as jumping
- Wearing shoes with insufficient or no support
- Wearing shoes with high heels
You could potentially reduce your risk for an ankle sprain by performing exercises to strengthen the ankles and increase flexibility. For example, performing standing calf raises helps strengthen the ankles, while tracing the letters of the alphabet with the feet helps increase flexibility and range of motion. Wearing supportive footwear can also help reduce the risk of a sprained ankle.
Signs of a Sprained Ankle
If you have injured your ankle, there are several signs that it is sprained. In addition to experiencing pain or discomfort, other signs that your ankle might be sprained include swelling, stiffness, tenderness, and bruising. Instability, difficulty walking, and limited range of motion are also signs of a sprained ankle. If you have any of the signs, see one of the skilled podiatrists at our office in Danbury, New Milford, or Plainville, CT, for diagnosis and treatment.
Treating a Sprained Ankle
Seeking professional treatment for a sprained ankle is crucial for ensuring the ankle heals properly. Untreated ankle sprains can lead to a host of chronic problems, including ankle instability and even weakness in the leg. The injured ankle needs time to rest and heal, followed by rehabilitation and strengthening of the joint. Methods for treating sprained ankles include:
- Resting and elevating the ankle
- Applying ice or a cold compress
- Wearing a compression bandage
- Physical therapy to increase strength and flexibility
- Medications for pain relief and to reduce inflammation
- Braces or splints to provide additional support
The experienced podiatrists at our offices can help you get back on your feet after an ankle sprain. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Treadwell, Dr. Davis, or Dr. Jimenez at our Danbury location, call Foot & Ankle Specialists of Connecticut at (203) 748-2220. For the New Milford office, call (860) 355-3139 or call (860) 747-2200 for our Plainville location.