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  • Writer's pictureJannalee Edgar

THe Black and Blue Truths of Ankle Sprains

Have you ever twisted your ankle and it turned black & blue?

Or it was so swollen it didn't fit in a shoe?

If only you knew what to pursue.

Here is a document that you can review.

Jannalee Physiotherapy Ankle

Swelling is common after any ankle sprain. Depending on how many of the fibers are stretched or torn will depend on how much swelling and even bruising takes place. Swelling is a natural process the body has to endure after an injury. Swelling brings cells to the injury to help repair it. We don’t want to delay this process by over indulging with ice or anti inflammatories. Don't' worry about the bruising either. The bruising happens because small blood vessels break due to the force of the accident. The force might be a direct impact, like landing on it, or twisting, stepping off a curb funny. Muscles and ligaments have a lot of blood supplied to them so there are many blood vessels that could get injured.

When you sprain your ankle we want to find a balance of keeping it gently moving it and resting it. If you don’t use it, a variety of things could happen:

  • It stiffens up making it harder to move even after the swelling goes away

  • It loses muscle

  • You become scared to use it and continue to favor the ankle

We don’t want any of those things to happen. Gentle movement might look like ankle circles or ankle pumps. You can even use a crutch while walking so you are still putting some weight through the ankle.

Use compression to help manage the swelling. This could be a tensor wrap or a compression sock. Using compression helps manage the swelling but doesn’t prevent the swelling process from happening. Don't use compression while you sleep. We want to be able to monitor it for changes; i.e. decreased circulation. If you don’t have any type of compression available, use gravity to your advantage. Lye on your back and rest the ankle higher than the heart. Gravity will pull the swelling out of the ankle.

One question that often comes up is, when should I go to the hospital to get it checked out? If you are unable to step on it AND you have excruciating pain over either of the ankle bones or any of the small bones of your foot; it is recommended that you get an x-ray. You may have one without the other, but it is recommended that you get an x-ray when BOTH occur.

Jannalee Physiotherapy Injury Management

I also want to debunk a myth; wearing an ankle brace will make the ankle weaker. That's not the case at all. Wearing the ankle brace after you sprain your ankle is going to prevent it from doing certain motions. It is a checkrein for the ankle. It does the job of the injured ligament. It is not inhibiting the muscles from activating. The muscles will still work thus staying strong. You may not have full range of motion but that is what we want to prevent the injury from getting worse.

Here are the take home points from today’s blog:

  • Swelling is a normal process for healing to happen. We don’t want to inhibit it but minimize it.

  • Gentle movement is encouraged

  • If you are unable to put weight on your ankle AND have extreme pain to touch; go for an x-ray.

  • Wearing an ankle brace after you sprain it is ok. It won’t weaken your ankle.

After this blog, your knowledge grew.

You got to learn the swelling is normal and not ewe.

You will be able to celebrate with a big Yahoo

As you can be one step closer to returning to kung fu.

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