A sprained ankle is no fun to have, especially if you are a dancer. There are some sprained ankle treatments you can try, but it is still important to see a medical professional to get a proper diagnosis and treatment for your foot.
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How Do You Sprain an Ankle?
Because the ankle joint is vulnerable, it is prone to sprains. Sprained ankles are often caused by slips or a fall where the foot is forcefully twisted or turned inwards. This overstretch of the ankle or twisting can even cause ligaments to tear.
Sprained ankles could happen while you are doing pointe work or even landing a jump incorrectly. It is a very intense sharp pain, and you won’t be able to put any weight on the ankle after this happens.
A sprained ankle means one or more ligaments on the outer side of your ankle were stretched or torn.
Fun fact – Did you know that 25 000 people a day worldwide sprain their ankles?
I remember spraining my ankle badly when landing a jump on the side of my foot. It is not an experience I would like to repeat, but it can happen so easily for both dancers and people who play sports.
The outer ankle’s lateral collateral ligaments are the most common ligaments to suffer sprains, but other injuries such as joint subluxation (which is a partial dislocation of the bones) or a fracture can occur concurrently. Sprains can also range from mild sprains to severe sprains.
With a bad sprain, it is sometimes difficult to know whether it is a sprain or a fracture, so you may need to go for x-rays initially and a doctor’s opinion.
How Do You Prevent a Sprained Ankle?
Sometimes it is unavoidable, but strengthening and conditioning the muscles that support the ankle can help to both prevent as well as treat sprains.
Also, check the surface that you are dancing on. It should be smooth, flat, resilient, and clear of any debris. Check that the floor is neither too slippery nor too sticky.
Sprained Ankle Treatments
The best treatment for a sprained ankle is RICE (rest, ice, compression, and of course elevation).
Avoid putting any weight on the ankle at all costs, as a weak or damaged ankle is very prone to re-injury.
If the injury is very severe, a wrap, splint or a cast may be necessary.
Every ligament injury will need some rehabilitation. There are three phases of recovery involved when spraining your ankle:
- The first phase is for resting, protecting, and reducing swelling of your injured ankle.
- The second phase is for restoring your ankle’s strength, flexibility, and range of motion.
- The third phase is when you gradually return to your old activities and keep doing maintenance exercises.
Once you can stand on your ankle again, your doctor will prescribe exercises you can do to strengthen the muscles and ligaments that surround your ankle. You will probably still need to use your ankle brace when walking or running far distances.
It’s important to complete the rehabilitation program because it makes it less likely that you’ll hurt the same ankle again in the same place again. If you don’t complete rehabilitation, you could suffer chronic pain, instability, and arthritis in your ankle. If your ankle still hurts, it could mean that the sprained ligament has not healed properly, or that some other injury also happened.
Avoid early use of heat on your ankle or too much activity, standing, or sitting with the ankle hanging, while your ankle is healing.
DON’T play sports or dance again until all the pain and swelling are gone and the ankle is strong.
To prevent future sprained ankles, pay attention to your body’s warning signs to slow down when you feel pain or fatigue, and stay in shape with good muscle balance, flexibility, and strength in your soft tissues. Also, make time to rest when you are over tired. Most injuries of this nature happen when the person is tired and the concentration is gone.
Here are some great products that you can buy online that can help you with your sprained ankle treatments. If you want to find out more, click on the pictures below.