A sprained ankle is an injury that occurs when you twist, roll, or turn the ankle in an awkward way. It is the most common sports injury.
Sprained ankles most often involve injuries to the ligaments on the outside of the ankle. Most sprains are minor injuries that heal with home treatments such as applying ice and rest.
Ankle sprains occur in both people with sedentary lifestyles and professional athletes, and they can occur when walking to carry out daily activities or during sports. According to statistics, an estimated 26,000 people in the United States suffer an ankle sprain.
The following grades of severity are used to describe sprains:
Mild sprain (grade I)
The sufferer may experience some difficulty in running or walking. Swelling, mild pain and stiffness may be present. Also, there is mild tearing or stretching of ankle ligaments with some mild joint instability.
Moderate sprain (grade II)
Moderate sprain with partial tearing of the ligaments commonly results in some joint instability and swelling, moderate pain, with bruising throughout the foot and ankle.
Severe sprain (grade III)
It is very hard to move the foot since the ankle is unstable and one or more ligaments are torn. In addition, the sufferer experiences severe pain with extensive bruising and swelling.
Common symptoms include:
- sound or popping sensation at the time of injury;
- instability in the ankle;
- restricted range of motion;
- tenderness when you touch the ankle;
- pain, particularly when you bear weight on the affected foot.
When to Call the Doctor
You should see a healthcare professional if the injury is severe or if there is any concern about the injury. In particular, see a healthcare professional if:
- symptoms and swelling do not gradually settle;
- you suspect that a ligament (the fibrous connective tissue that connects bones to other bones) is ruptured;
- you suspect a bone may be broken;
- the joint feels unstable or the joint does not seem to work properly after the swelling and pain have gone down;
- bruising is severe;
- you have a lot of tenderness over a bone;
- you cannot weight bear or walk due to the injury;
- the pain is severe;
- there is a loss of circulation in the foot;
- the joint or leg looks out of shape rather than just swollen.
Ligaments are injured when a greater than usual stretching force is applied to them. This can be caused by different activities, like:
- jogging, walking, or exercising on irregular surfaces;
- jumping and landing awkwardly on the ankle;
- during sports activities, someone else may step on your foot while you are running;
- participating in sports which require rolling and twisting, cutting actions of the foot, like – basketball, trail running, football, tennis, and soccer;
- falling down.
Possible risk factors include:
- inappropriate footwear;
- prior history of sprains or strains;
- female gender in athletes over 30;
- carrying excess weight;
- not warming up before activity;
- muscle and ligament fatigue;
- poor athletic conditioning.
In evaluating your injury, your healthcare professional will use X-rays or other advanced imaging studies. Also, he will examine your foot and obtain a thorough history of your symptoms.
Your healthcare professional may recommend one or more of the following treatment options:
- medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen). In some patients, prescription pain medications are required to provide adequate pain relief;
- early physical therapy;
- elevation – to reduce swelling, it is recommended that the ankle should be raised slightly above the level of your heart;
- compression – to control swelling, an elastic wrap may be used;
- ice – use ice for twenty minutes and then wait at least forty minutes before icing again;
- rest – it is suggested to stay off the injured ankle.
Here Is A List Of 10 Essential Oils For Sprained Ankle and Bruises:
#1 Black Pepper
Black pepper essential oil alleviates pain by warming up the body.
Peppermint essential oil is known for its incredible results for arthritis suferrers. Also, the menthol in peppermint oil helps relax stiff joints and muscles, hence, relieving joint pain.
This essential oil will increase lymphatic flow, decrease edema, and reduce muscle spasm.
Yarrow essential oil is used to reduce inflammation and pain.
Lavender essential oil possesses analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to relieve aching joints and muscles.
Since it has relaxing, sedative, and anti-stress properties, chamomile essential oil is beneficial to relieve pain and inflammation.
Marjoram essential oil will increase circulation (dilate blood vessels), reduce muscle spasm, and promote relaxation.
It is analgesic, antispasmodic, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, carminative, and antirheumatic in nature.
Basil essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties and it works as an antiseptic, decongestant, and muscle relaxant, making it excellent for reducing pain caused by inflammation.
Aside from being an amazing inflammatory oil, eucalyptus essential oil has anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial attributes. In addition, the oil promotes better blood circulation around the ankle region.
Arnica comes from a yellow-orangish flower that grows in the mountains of Siberia and Europe with the scientific name of Arnica montana.
Arnica is a good anti-inflammatory agent that helps reduce swelling, pain, and inflammation. Moreover, arnica helps prevent bruising in the injured area and increases circulation.
According to recent research, using a gel that contains arnica may be as effective as the painkiller ibuprofen in improving function and reducing pain in the affected ankle.
Turmeric is an efficient pain reliever thanks to its potent anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties. In addition, it helps reduce swelling and pain since it relaxes the tissues, muscles, and joints.
#3 Anti-Inflammatory Diet
High levels of inflammation in the body weaken your joints and bones while reducing your capacity to naturally heal injuries and your range of motion. Also, it makes muscles more susceptible to injury and pain. Anti-inflammatory foods include:
- cayenne peppers;
- sweet peppers;
- sunflower seeds;
- flax seeds;
- sesame seeds;
- chia seeds;
- navy beans;
You can lower your risk for future sprains by:
- stopping or slowing activities when you feel fatigued;
- paying attention to surfaces you are walking on;
- wearing quality footwear;
- warming up before any type of physical exercise;
- avoiding high heels;
- performing strengthening exercises;
- wearing a brace, if necessary;
- wrapping the affected ankle in an elastic bandage.