Spraining the ankle is one of the most common injuries of inactive people. A sprain, which occurs when the ligaments in this area are injured, can become chronic if the injury does not heal properly the first time. If you suffer a sprain, fast and proper treatment is the best way to avoid ongoing problems. You need an expert podiatry team like the one lead by Hermoz Ayvazian, DPM, FACFAS, QME of Glendale Foot & Ankle, with locations in Glendale and Burbank, CA.
Understand why you are at risk for multiple ankle sprains
After your first injury, it is more likely you will sprain your ankle again. When a sprain occurs, the ligaments in the ankle are stretched too far apart. They cannot work properly and are unable to support the moving parts of the foot. This causes pain and the inability to walk in some cases. To work, the ligaments need to remain tough and flexible. However, when you roll your ankle or sprain your ankle too many times, the ligaments loosen. They stretch out too far and cannot easily spring back to their natural shape. This creates chronic pain.
Getting proper treatment is the first step
To minimize the risk of recurrent sprains, your first goal is to allow the sprained ankle to heal properly. Visit a podiatrist, a professional who has extensive experience in treating these conditions, if you have any tenderness or pain in your ankle. If you’ve “rolled” your ankle or landed on it funny, it’s a good idea to come in for proper treatment.
Use supportive footwear
While treatment is important for an existing injury, you also need to be proactive in minimizing ongoing risks. To do that, start with the right footwear. Choose shoes that support the ankle whenever you are engaging in physical activity, such as running or jumping. You also want to ensure your shoes are designed for the type of environment you are using them in, such as on the court or on a gravel surface. Proper traction can help minimize the risk of falls.
Work to strengthen your muscles
It is also important to work to build your muscles in this area through physical therapy or just focus on exercise in this area. Not only do you want to work your ankle ligaments to tighten them up, but you also want to ensure your leg, foot, and hip muscles are strong. It also helps to work on your core muscles. In some cases, it can be best to work with a trainer who can support your goals of strengthening your overall muscle mass, limiting your risk of injury.
Stretch before an intense workout
Keep in mind that most of the injuries that occur can be avoided by stretching your muscles properly before any workout. This is very important in situations in which your muscles are at risk, such as if you’ve had repeated sprains. Simply flex your muscles and hold them for a few seconds before your workout. Stretch your muscles in your feet, hips, back, and legs.
Secure physical therapy if you have a problem now
As noted, sprained ankles can become a chronic situation. The tips here will help you to reduce those risks. However, many people will still be at risk for developing more complex problems. Your podiatrist at Glendale Foot & Ankle, with locations in both Glendale and Burbank, CA, urge you to adhere to a physical therapy program. This is simply the process of strengthening your muscles properly, with the help of a licensed professional. In most situations, you will find this type of treatment can help you regain strength in your ankle ligaments over a period of time. This type of care can also help your body to relearn the proper methods of movement if you are overcompensating due to your injury.
Find the support you need for all injuries by contacting us today
If you feel your ankles are at risk or you have an injury, call Glendale Foot & Ankle, or use the online booking tool to request an appointment. Our podiatry services are available to help ensure your injury heals properly and that you gain the stability you need to overcome any chronic condition.