Ankle Sprain Information

Ankle Sprain Information

According to the American Academy of Family Practice, about 1 million Americans see a doctor each year due to an ankle injury. A sprain is essentially a stretched or torn ligament. Ligaments provide limited motion by connecting one bone to another bone at a joint. While ankle sprains are common sport injuries for athletes, these injuries can also occur to everyday people doing everyday activities.

 

 

What Causes An Ankle Sprain?

Most people will twist their ankle at one point or another. However, the ankle most likely has been stretched too far or has a torn ligament if the ankle becomes swollen or painful. In everyday life, this can happen quite easily when the ankle unnaturally rolls inward and the foot rolls outward (an inversion injury) or when the ankle rolls outward and the foot rolls inward (an eversion injury) past the normal range of motion. The following are some common happenings that cause ankle injuries:

* The foot being awkwardly planted during running, walking, stepping up and down stairs or steps, jumping, or rising from a laying position.

* Stepping in or on uneven surfaces, such as planting the foot in a hole or stepping on a child‘s toy.

* Sporting injuries in basketball, football, track and field, and such.

Ankle Anatomy

The ankle is made up of three bones: the tibia forms the inside bump of the ankle, or medial malleolus; the fibula forms the outer bump of the ankle, or lateral malleolus; and the talus is the top bone in the foot.

There are three ligaments on the outside of the ankle that attach the lateral malleolus to the talus and calcaneus (heel bone): the anterior talo-fibular ligament, calcaneo-fibular ligament, and posterior talo-fibular ligament. The deltoid ligament complex is on the inside of the ankle and goes from the talus to the medial malleolus.

The anterior talo-fibular ligament is the most commonly stretched or torn ligament during an ankle injury.

Signs & Symptoms Of Ankle Sprain

* a popping or snap may be felt during the injury
* pain, throbbing, or tenderness
* swelling
* bruising
* cold or numb sensation in the foot
* a wobbly feeling when weight is placed on the ankle
* inability to walk or weight bear
* stiffness
* redness and/or warmth

How's An Ankle Sprain Classified?

The severity of the sprain and above symptoms depends on how severely the ligaments are stretched or torn.
Sprains are divided into grades depending on this damage.

Grade 1 - In this most common sprain, the ligaments are overly stretched and possibly microscopically damaged, but there’s not an actual tear.

Grade 2 - This injury is more severe, has a significant amount of ligament damage, and often involves partially torn ligaments.

Grade 3 - This is the most severe and indicates significant damage with ankle instability. The ligament is actually torn.

 

Strengthening Exercises

These Sprained Ankle Exercises are ideal to build strength and flexibility.

Massage Treatment

These Sprained Ankle Massage Techniques are of great value in pain relief; circulation stimulation; dispersing blood and fluid accumulations; swelling reduction; and relaxing muscle spasms, especially when used alongside the Sinew Therapeutics liniments and soaks.


ACUTE STAGE SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT

 

This stage is characterized by swelling, redness, pain, and possibly a local sensation of heat, indicating inflammation. If coolness makes your pain feel better, then the Acute Stage Treatment is recommended.

 

ACUTE STAGE SYMPTOMS:

 

The acute stage starts the moment an injury occurs and lasts until the swelling and inflammation are gone. The swelling is the result of the blockage of blood, tissue fluids and circulation in the ankle because their normal movement has been disrupted by the force of the injury. Just like cars back up behind a traffic jam, causing congestion, exhaust and overheating; blood and fluids back up behind the injured ankle, causing pain, inflammation, lumps and swelling.

The sensation of heat is due to the warming action of the blood and fluids overheating in the injured ankle as they back up and accumulate. Stiffness and decreased mobility are due to spasms in tendons and ligaments that have contracted reflexively beyond their normal range from the impact of the injury.

As ligaments and tendons stretch and tear, blood from ruptured blood vessels becomes trapped in the local tissues. As the trapped blood clots up, it sticks the tissues together creating adhesions. Adhesions cause pain, inflammation and restricted movement because the layers of tissue that used to slide smoothly across one another now adhere and snap which interferes with normal functioning. It is essential to break up clotted blood as quickly as possible to prevent adhesions and scar tissue from forming.

During the acute stage it is very important to restore normal circulation to the ankle, break up clotted blood and stagnant fluids, reduce swelling, and reduce the redness and heat associated with inflammation. By restoring the flow of blood, fluids, and circulation in the ankle, then pain is relieved, damaged tissues can regenerate with healthy functional tissue, and the ankle can strengthen and regain it's mobility.

 

ACUTE STAGE TREATMENT:

 

1. Apply the Sinew Herbal Ice on your ankle to reduce redness, swelling, and inflammation while dispersing accumulated blood and fluids to help restore normal circulation to the ankle. This first-aid treatment is used in place of ice to significantly speed up the healing process. It reduces the swelling and inflammation more effectively than ice, allowing you to more quickly regain range of motion. Acute Sinew Liniment can be used in-between applications.

Ice is not recommended because it does not help repair damaged tissues and keeps everything in the injured area frozen, causing the stagnation of blood and fluids and the contraction of muscles, tendons and ligaments. In Chinese sports medicine ice is not used and is considered a culprit in injuries that don’t heal well.

2. Massage your ankle with Acute Sinew Liniment to relieve pain, reduce swelling and inflammation, break up clotted blood and stagnant fluids, and stimulate circulation of blood and fluids to help cells quickly repair damaged tissues. Sinew Herbal Ice can be used in-between applications.

3. The Sinew Sports Massage Oil is recommended for use before and after exercise, sports and strenuous activity. It warms and stimulates your muscles, increases circulation and relieves tightness, hence improving your performance and helping to prevent injury.

 

 

CHRONIC STAGE SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT

 

This stage begins once the swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness, and/or sensitivity in cold and damp weather. If heat makes your pain feel better, then the Chronic Stage Treatment is recommended.


CHRONIC STAGE SYMPTOMS:

 

The chronic stage begins once the swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel aching pain and stiffness. This is because there are still accumulations of stagnant blood and fluids in your ankle that are blocking circulation and blood supply to damaged tissues, creating residual pain, stiffness and weakness. You may actually feel hard nodules like sand in the tissue, indicating accumulation, calcification, and adhesions, which all cause pain, stiffness, and joint instability.

Your ankle may feel more sensitive to the cold and ache in cold and damp weather due to impaired circulation. When you move your ankle you may hear a clicking or popping sound from the tendons and ligaments slipping very slightly in and out of their natural alignment indicating weakness and joint instability, causing chronic pain and a cycle of reinjury. These symptoms are often the result of failure to treat the injury properly from the outset and overicing.

Increasing circulation and blood supply to the damaged tissues is very important in treating chronic injuries because tendons and ligaments do not have an extensive direct supply of blood. That is why chronic injuries can be slow to heal. Increasing local circulation also prevents cold and dampness from penetrating the injured area, preventing pain and stiffness.

During the chronic stage it is very important to break up remaining accumulations of blood and fluids, and increase circulation and blood supply to the damaged tissues. By increasing circulation and blood flow in the ankle, then pain and stiffness is relieved, and the tendons and ligaments can strengthen to restore stability.


CHRONIC STAGE TREATMENT:

 

1. Massage your ankle with Chronic Sinew Liniment to relieve pain and stiffness, strongly stimulate circulation and blood flow to damaged tissues, and promote the healing of overstretched tendons and ligaments. The Sinew Relaxing Soak can be used in-between applications.

2. Soak your ankle with the Sinew Relaxing Soak to relax muscles and tendons that are in spasm, ease joint pain and stiffness, and improve range of motion. The Sinew Relaxing Soak is particularly useful if you feel restricted mobility in your ankle. Chronic Sinew Liniment can be used in-between applications.

3. The Sinew Sports Massage Oil is recommended for use before and after exercise, sports and strenuous activity. It warms and stimulates your muscles, increases circulation and relieves tightness, hence improving your performance and helping to prevent injury.