There are numerous different kinds of foot injuries, but perhaps none that are more prevalent than an injury to the ankle.
Most people may think that only athletes can injure their ankles from physical exercise and activity, but the reverse is largely true.
Everyday people can suffer from injuries and pain in their ankles as well, and it can even be something as straightforward as walking over uneven ground and tripping.
Studies have shown that younger people are more likely to have pain in their ankles than older people, specifically people between the ages of fifteen and thirty. And while half of all ankle injuries happen to athletes, the other half happen to everyday Americans.
Each year, it is estimated that one million people injure their ankle, requiring them to pay a visit to the emergency room.
This article will discuss what you can do to treat an ankle injury or pain, but first and foremost, it’s important to understand specifically what an ankle injury is.
Sprains and Fractures
Sprains and fractures are the two most common ways to bring about injury to your ankle. Injury can be done to your bones, ligaments or tendons.
Ligaments are what keep your bones in place, while tendons attach the muscles to your bones, enabling you to move freely as you do and to keep the joints in your foot stable.
Between a sprain and a fracture, a fracture is more serious. After all, it is a break in the bones, whereas a sprain is simply damage done to the ligaments when they are stretched too far. And while a ligament sprain can sometimes be only microscopic, a fracture is much more noticeable.
Now of course, sprains and muscles don’t just happen in the foot. They can just as easily happen in the legs too.
They’re just more likely to happen in the ankle because there are two tendons in the ankles that are very easy to strain.
If they become too overused and fatigued they may swell, or also if trauma is inflicted to the ankle as well.
The Causes of Ankle Injuries
Basically, an ankle injury will ensue if it becomes too twisted out of the position that it is usually in. This is why the majority of ankle accidents, with both athletes and non-athletes, occur during physical exercises or activities.
It can also just as easily happen while walking over uneven terrain that forces your ankle out of its normal place.
Wearing comfortable shoes is another very important factor. Overall, the most common causes of ankle injuries are tripping over, landing wrongly after jumping, trauma, twisting the ankle, or walking or running over uneven terrain.
Symptoms of an Ankle Injury
It’s usually easy to be able to tell if you’ve suffered an injury to your ankle. After all, the area around your ankle should be burning with pain. However, it can also be easy to mistake a sprain for a fracture, and vice versa.
Common symptoms of an ankle injury in general is immense pain in the ankle area, the swelling of the ankle, severe bruising, and being unable to put any weight on the ankle without either feeling pain or falling over completely.
If you have suffered a sprain, chances are that your ankle will be very difficult to move, whereas with a fracture has taken place, your ankle will move but it will be extremely painful to touch, and make physically look out of place.
There are also different degrees of sprains and fractures. If a sprain isn’t too bad, there will only be some slight swelling and the worst you might get is a bruise. But if the pain is much worse, your pain will swell more and the pain will be very bad.
Another way you can feel pain in your ankle is if the tendon has been torn. In this case, you will have suffered from tendinitis, of which the symptoms are pain on the outside of the ankle, the inability to walk or put pressure on the ankle without feeling pain or being instable, and an increase in the overall height of your foot’s arch.
What to do if you have pain in your ankle
By now, you should have a pretty good idea of the different types of ankle injuries there are and the pain that can result out of it.
If you suffer from pain to your ankle, there are things that you can do to treat it before going to the doctor for further treatment.
The first thing that you can do is to rest. Just lie down and keep all the weight off of the ankle. This will also keep your ankle from being damaged any further.
Something else you should do is apply ice to your ankle. Ice will keep the swelling down and also numb your ankle in order to not allow you to feel the pain that you have been feeling.
For the ice to be effective, you will need to apply it to the ankle within forty weight hours of sustaining the injury, and only keep it on your ankle for fifteen minutes at a time, with regular intervals of at least half an hour before reapplying the ice to your ankle.
You should repeat this process as many times as you need to. If you don’t have ice, you can always try using a bag of frozen veggies as well.
You should also try to make yourself a makeshift, elastic bandage to keep your ankle supported, but just don’t wrap it up too tightly.
You don’t want to lose feeling in any part of your foot. If your toes end up turning blue, that’s a bad sign!
Lastly, you should elevate your leg up into the air to reduce the pain and swelling in the foot.