Characterized by a twisting and possible tearing of the ligaments in the ankle joint, a sprain can be a debilitating injury. While common, ankle sprains are not understood well. In addition, most people feel they know how to best treat a sprain or completely forego treatment altogether. By learning the truth behind these myths, you will have a better understanding of ankle sprains.
Ankle Sprains Are Rare
One myth people believe is that ankle sprains are rare. Again, they are one of the most common injuries.
While shocking to learn, an estimated 28,000 people in the United States sprain an ankle each day. These injuries may occur while playing sports, which is most common, but sprains can also happen during normal everyday activities.
Ankles Sprains Are Minor Issues
Another myth people believe is that an ankle sprain is a minor injury. In some cases, sprains will heal on their own with proper rest, ice, compression, and elevation, or R.I.C.E therapy. However, the sprain should be taken seriously since improper treatment could lead to future problems.
Without treatment, a sprain can lead to intense pain and difficulty walking. You may also worsen the sprain, resulting in tears in the ligaments, which makes the sprain more severe. If the severe sprain is left untreated, the tear could affect your mobility permanently, causing recurring sprains and even broken bones.
Even if you feel the sprain is minor, visit a doctor for a full evaluation to determine if there are any tears or fractures to address.
Ankle Sprains Should Be "Walked Off"
If you have ever sprained your ankle, you may have been told to "walk it off." Although walking can be beneficial for boosting blood flow to aid in recovery, walking on an ankle sprain is not recommended.
Walking on the sprain will cause the swelling to become worse. You may notice that the swelling is so severe that you are unable to wear socks or shoes. In addition to the swelling, placing pressure on the sprained ankle can be incredibly painful.
Finally, if there is an underlying tear in the ankle ligaments, walking on the ankle could lead to permanent damage that would require surgery to repair.
No matter how you feel or how much someone is pressuring you, do not walk on a sprained ankle until you have been evaluated by a doctor at a facility like Town Center Orthopaedic Associates, P.C.
Ankle sprains may be common, but they should be taken seriously. This guide will ensure you realize the severity of a sprain.