Anyone who has regularly played sports, or jogged, will be aware of the most common sports injury―the ankle sprain. The degree of pain involved can range from mildly discomforting to excruciatingly agonizing.
The reason why ankle sprains occur very frequently is due to the fact that it can happen to a person playing any sport, or a person undergoing any physical exercise. It can happen while running, sprinting or even walking. Until the sprained ankle heals, the individual is left almost crippled and is unable to walk without experiencing a great deal of pain.
What is an Ankle Sprain?
There are many ligaments present in the legs and feet. These ligaments are a collection of fibrous tissues that connect the bones and the joints within the body. When these ligaments are stretched or torn, it causes extreme pain for the individual. The stretching or the tearing of the ligament is what constitutes an ankle sprain.
Grades of Ankle Sprains
There are basically three grades of ankle sprains, and these grades differ in intensity, causes, and recovery periods.
►Grade 1: This is a first degree ankle sprain and the stretching and tearing of the ligament is minimal. As a result of this there is only mild pain and swelling in the ankle. The general recovery time is approximated between 2 - 6 weeks.
►Grade 2: One experiences a tearing sensation or a popping noise during this injury. The ankle gets extremely sensitive to touch and there is visible bruising as well. The recovery time ranges between 4 - 8 weeks for such an ankle sprain.
►Grade 3: Third degree ankle sprains are the worst. The person may feel the joint slipping out of its socket and back again. In such cases, walking without support is impossible and he/she may even require surgery. The ankle will be very tender with a large amount of bruising and swelling. It takes between 8 - 12 weeks to recover from this injury.
Factors for Ankle Sprain Recovery Time
The recovery period depends on many different factors. The intensity and the direction of the twist obviously play a major role in it. Apart from this, there are some other parameters as well that play their part. The initial treatment will also determine how long the area will take to recover.
Some sprains are mild, and can be treated with self diagnosis, whereas some will require the immediate attention of a physician. Wrapping the ankle in a tight bandage will definitely speed up recovery.
For a severe sprain (grade 3 sprain), you must immediately visit a doctor. Try not to put any weight on the ankle when you walk, and avoid any strenuous activity for some time. Keeping your foot elevated and placing an ice pack on it will also boost the time required for it to heal properly.
It takes longer to recover if the ankle is left untreated or if it is ignored. Timely intervention and undergoing proper rehabilitation will ensure that your ankle is as good as before in no time.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.