If you're an athlete, chances are you've had at least one sprained ankle. More than 23,000 Americans sprain their ankle each day — it's the most common sports injury and one of the most common injuries overall. Unfortunately, spraining your ankle once can leave you prone to repeated sprains if it doesn't heel properly.
In fact, 70-80% of athletes who sprain their ankle sprain it again, and 40% will develop chronic instability or recurring sprains.
That's definitely not good.
Twist vs. Sprain
Ankle sprains occur when the ankle is twisted unnaturally, causing injury to the ligaments.
This frequently happens when stepping onto uneven ground, or when running or playing a sport like basketball or soccer.
The telltale difference between a twist and a sprain is a twist will feel better in a few minutes, while a sprain often swells up, bruises quickly and hurts like crazy.
Should I Go To The ER?
Most people will head straight to the ER when they sprain an ankle, where doctors will check to make sure there's nothing broken.
That's all good, except the care usually ends there after you're given an ice pack and told to keep off it for a while if there are no broken bones.
But, hobbling around on crutches for a few days isn't necessarily the best thing for your sprain.
We treat sprained ankles with the RICE approach:
The most important part is compression, or making sure your ankle is immobilized so it can heal while still bearing weight.
The “bearing weight” part is critical because it encourages the torn ligaments to heal and promotes ankle stability and balance, which all help you avoid recurring injury.
We will also show you some exercises and stretches that will help the ankle heal while regaining strength and stability.
This is an important part of the recovery process that shouldn’t be skipped if you want to avoid future sprains.
Platelet Rich Plasma Injections (PRP) + Laser Treatment have also been effective in helping sprained ankles.
Additionally our office can offer other regenerative medicine techniques to treat this problem, including our MLS pain laser treatments. These have shown to be effective in helping to bring blood flow and healing properties to the sprained ligaments, which generally do not have great blood supply