When a ligament is held in a stretched position for a long period of time it loses some of its elasticity. These sprains are typically midland can heal quickly if the ligament is allowed to return to its proper length. The other mechanism for sprains is an explosive stretch on a ligament. This force can stretch, tear, or completely rupture a ligament. This is the mechanism that is most common to ankle sprains. There are three basic types of ankle sprains. They are inversion sprains, eversion sprains and syndesmosis or "high-ankle" sprains. The most common of the three is the inversion sprain.
This is the injury that is commonly sustained when people say that they "rolled" their ankle. Inversion sprains occur when you foot is pointed toward the floor and the foot rolls inward so that all of the weight of the body is over the outside of the foot and on the outer part of the ankle joint. The way this usually happens is by stepping or landing on uneven ground or when making a cutting motion. Inversion sprains damage the ligaments on the outside of the ankle. The anterior talofibular ligament is the most commonly sprained ligament. More severe sprains may involve the calcaneofibular ligament as well.
This is a simple exercise in which you take your ankle and trace the letters of the alphabet all the way from A to Z. To further the exercise you should trace plenty of circles and move your ankle as far up and down as it will go and as far left and right as it will go. To make it more difficult you can always use ankle weights.
You will need the assistance of a step stool or stair for this exercise. Take the injured foot and place it on top of the stool and leave the other foot on the level ground. Then slowly straighten the knee of the injured ankle as your other foot lifts slowly off of the ground. Go up and back down 10 times.
This can be used with a stair or stool as well but instead of resting the uninjured foot back on the ground like in the step up, balance your weight on your injured foot for as long as you can. This will get easier over time but is a great rehabilitation exercise to get your ankle to back to normal. These are just a few of the many exercises you can use to strengthen your ankle enough to prevent future injury. As always, if you are unsure on what to do with any injury, seek medical advice from a doctor first.
It's important to note that there are various types of ankle sprains. The most common one is an "inversion sprain," causing the ankle to twist until the foot's sole faces inward. This causes damage to the ligaments contained on the ankle's exterior. A less common type of ankle sprain is a "medial ligament sprain." This involves damage to a ligament known as the "anterior talofibular." The ligament links the ankle bone with the fibula. What's the fibula? That's the lower leg's smaller bone. Major sprains also involve something called the "calcaneofibular" ligament, which links the heel bone and the fibula.
Ankle strains can also involve damage to joint tissues, such as tendons and bones. Remember that it's always crucial to get an X-ray after potential ankle sprains, to determine what (if any) damage has occurred.
Ankle sprains' most common cause is an athlete putting too much weight on his or her foot, when it's in an everted or inverted position. This oftentimes happens when the athlete is running on jumping on a surface that's not level. The athlete might hear a "pop" or "snap" sound, and usually afterwards experiences inflammation and pain in the ankle.
Ankle sprains are mostly caused by landing from a jump with the foot in an inverted position to some degree, with some loss of the joint position sense being a risk factor for this injury. Sudden onset of severe pain is immediate with the person unable to continue sporting activity and in severe cases finding walking difficult. Ankle sprains grade gently into ankle fractures so a formal assessment is useful if the injury appears severe. While taping and bracing seems a logical course of action to stiffen the ankle the evidence for this is not strong, and taping is known to loosen off after only a short period of exercise.