WHAT IS AN ANKLE SPRAIN?
Written by: Akhilesh Dev | Posted: June 15, 2019 at 1:32 pm | Total Comments: 1
Most people have twisted an ankle at some point in their life. But if your ankle gets swollen and painful after you twist it, you have most likely sprained it. This means you have stretched and possibly torn the ligaments in your ankle. Even though ankle sprains are common, they are not always minor injuries. Some people with repeated or severe sprains can develop long-term joint pain and weakness. Treating a sprained ankle can help prevent ongoing ankle problems.
An ankle sprain can range from mild to severe, depending on how badly the ligament is damaged and how many ligaments are injured. With a mild sprain, the ankle may be tender, swollen, and stiff. But it usually feels stable, and you can walk with little pain. A more serious sprain might include bruising and tenderness around the ankle, and walking is painful. In a severe ankle sprain, the ankle is unstable and may feel “wobbly.” You can’t walk, because the ankle gives out and may be very painful.
How is it treated?
In many cases you can first use the RICE approach to treat your ankle:
Rest. You may need to use crutches until you can walk without pain.
Ice. For at least the first 24 to 72 hours or until the swelling goes down, apply an ice pack for 10 to 20 minutes every hour or two during the day. Always keep a thin cloth between the ice and your skin, and press the ice pack firmly against all the curves of the affected area.
Compression. An elastic compression wrap, such as an ACE bandage, will help reduce swelling. You wear it for the first 24 to 36 hours. Compression wraps do not offer protection. So you also need a brace to protect your ankle if you try to put weight on it.
Elevation. Raise your ankle above the level of your heart for 2 to 3 hours a day if possible. This helps to reduce swelling and bruising.
Massage to heal a sprained ankle
Did you know that massage also is helpful for the joint to heal without losing flexibility?
When your ligament heals after being damaged it can leave scar tissue. Massage helps dissuade the growth of scar tissue while the ligament heals and increases the chances that not only will your ankle not lose flexibility, but also reduces the risk of recurring ankle sprains. Ankle sprains that have not healed correctly or with too much scar tissues run higher risks of recurring ankle sprains.
The cross friction massage technique is used to do sports massage for ankle sprains. It helps to speed up the healing process and prevent scar tissue from developing. Cross friction massage applied to the injured ligaments after the acute phase will help to prevent scar tissue from forming. This will now be done about five days after the ankle is sprained.
Step1: Wait at least 48 to 72 hours before you begin any massage, which should only be done in the sub acute and acute stage.
Step2: Ensure that there are no contraindications such as a broken bone, open wound, skin infections, tendon ruptures, chilblains and the like. If any, you must not perform the massage.
Step3: Sit with the ankle sprain in a comfortable position. Stretch out the foot with the sprained ankle, so that the ligaments are in a stretched position.
Step4: Apply a deep, direct pressure on the ligament using a single finger. Begin the massage at a point that is slightly away from the sprained area, and then work your way gradually towards it. Massage deeply back and forth ACROSS the ligament, not along its length. You should feel the ligament under the skin.
Step5: Slowly begin to massage even deeper, but within the limits of bearable pain. Continue the massage for five to ten minutes. Tape the ankle or use an ankle support to support it.
Step6: Massage the ankle with the same technique every other day, not every day. After this deep-massage technique, the sprained ankle will need some time to recover. If the pain or swelling is worse the next day, then put off the massage again.
Tips & Warnings:
– Do not use any oil or other lubricant, because the massage will be most effective if you have a good feel of the sprained ligaments. Using oil will make your fingers slick, and they won’t function as well.
– By massaging perpendicular to the ligament rather than along its length, you are helping break up scar tissue and to realign collagen fibers, which in turn speeds up healing.
– It is essential that you have a sound knowledge of the ankle’s anatomy and where the ligaments attach to, so as to know how best to massage the sprained ligaments. Use this technique at your own discretion.
– Cross friction massage may be uncomfortable. This is normal, however, it is important to stay within the limits of pain. If it is so painful you tighten up with pain or flinch then treatment is unlikely to be beneficial.
– Calf muscle massage: Sports massage techniques for the lower leg and calf muscles will not directly help as part of ankle sprain treatment. However, keeping the lower leg muscles in good condition will help prevent tight knots, lumps, and bumps in the muscle, as well as aid tissue fluid dispersal.