A sprain to the lateral aspect of the ankle is a common injury. It can happen during a rigorous sporting event or when walking on uneven terrain. This injury can be very painful and activity will be limited for a couple of weeks. However, if a sprain does not fully recover, it could lead to recurrent injuries well after the first incident.
When lateral ankle inversion occurs, ligaments can stretch or tear as the bottom of the foot moves inward. These ligaments that provide mobility and support to the ankle become weakened and lack proper functionality. To reduce pain and swelling for a sprain, the typical treatment consists of ice, rest, and NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Although this will lessen swelling and discoloration, ligaments in the foot may still be damaged.
Without proper rehabilitation, the ankle will remain unstable. The ankle is more susceptible to injury because the ligaments did not fully recover and cannot support normal balance and mobility. Recurring injuries or sprains can easily occur if the ankle is over-exerted without proper recovery and support. This may prolong recovery time and increase the potential for further injury.
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