Is your ankle swollen and painful? It may be sprained. Podiatrist Dr. Jacqueline Babol shares a few signs that might indicate that you've sprained your ankle. Dr. Babol treats sprains and other foot and ankle conditions at Foot and Ankle Clinic in Spokane Valley, WA, and Hayden and Kellogg, ID.
Why do sprains occur?
Tears in the ligaments that hold the bones in your ankle joint together are the cause of sprains. Sprains tend to happen when you quickly roll or twist your foot. Walking on uneven surfaces, stepping off a curb you didn't realize was there or falling during a touch football game can all create tears in your ligaments.
How can I tell if I sprained my ankle?
One or more of these signs and symptoms may occur if you have a sprained ankle:
- Pain: Standing or putting any pressure on your ankle will probably be painful if you have a sprain.
- An Awful Sound: Did you hear a loud pop when you hurt your ankle? The sound may have occurred at the moment a ligament tore.
- Swelling: Damage to your ligaments triggers an inflammatory response. Once your body recognizes that damage has occurred, it sends white blood cells to the site of your injury via your bloodstream. In order to accommodate the increased blood flow, your blood vessels dilate temporarily, triggering swelling.
- Difficulty Moving the Joint: Bending and moving your ankle and foot may be a little difficult if you have a sprain.
- Bruising: Increased blood flow to your ankle can also cause bruising at the site of your injury.
How are sprained ankles treated?
If your sprain is mild, you may only need to apply ice packs, take over-the-counter pain relievers, wrap your ankle to reduce swelling, and stay off your feet as much as possible for a few days. More severe sprains may need to be treated in our Spokane Valley, WA, or Hayden or Kellogg, ID, offices. In some cases, a walking boot and crutches may be recommended to reduce pressure on your ankle while it heals. You may also benefit from physical therapy exercises that strengthen the muscles that support the joint. If your ankle pain is severe or doesn't get better after a week or two, it's a good idea to schedule an appointment with our office.
Worried about ankle pain? Schedule an appointment with Podiatrist Dr. Jacqueline Babol of Foot and Ankle Clinic by calling (866) 303-3668 for the Spokane Valley, WA, office or (208) 762-0909 for the Hayden and Kellogg, ID, offices.