The ankle is the most common area that is sprained. An ankle sprain occurs when an unnatural twisting motion happens at the ankle joint. Common signs and symptoms of an ankle sprain include bruising, swelling, and inability or difficulty to move or walk.
Ankle sprains damage the ligament that connects the bones in the foot, ankle and lower leg. The damage to the ligament often varies and is classified into three grades:
Grade I – there is slight tearing and swelling of the ligament. The ankle feels stable though and usually you can still walk with a Grade I sprain.
Grade II – there is a slightly larger tear accompanied with pain and bruising. The ankle can still feel stable but walking and touching the damaged areas is painful.
Grade III – there is complete tear of affected ligaments and the ankle is unstable. Walking is often impossible because there is intense pain, especially during the first moments of tear.
Ankle sprains can hamper you from finishing your daily routines. To avoid ankle sprains, here are some things you can do:
1. Maintain your weight. Heavier people are more prone to ankle sprains because they tend to put much more weight on the feet and leg part and there is also less balance.
2. Exercise. Regular exercise makes your body a lot more mobile and flexible, lessening the risk of muscle tearing and sprains.
3. Warm up before playing sports. It is important to condition the body before going into extremely fast movement, such as when playing sports.
4. Wear only proper-fitting shoes. Wearing too tight or too loose shoes can affect your walking and cause you to slip or fall and thereby acquire a sprain. Make sure the shoes you wear are all comfortable and properly fitted to your feet.
5. Don’t play sports, exercise or move fast when your body is tired. When we are tired, our muscles tend to be more taut or bent and moving fast causes them to perform more than they are capable to during the moment.
6. Be careful when lifting heavy objects. It is better to ask for help when lifting or moving heavy objects than carry everything alone because doing it alone can cause you to lose balance and have an ankle sprain. In addition, constant lifting of heavy objects may damage or weaken your back, spine, and other body parts in the long run.
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