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Sprained ankles may occur when a person accidentally rolls, twists, or turns their ankle in an awkward way. When this occurs, ligaments in the ankle are being forced beyond their range of motion, thus causing an injury. Some symptoms that point to having a sprained ankle may include swelling, bruising, tenderness, and pain inflicted on the affected area. Some may also experience restricted range of motion or feel instability in the ankle.
There are many factors that play into the cause of ankle sprains. Simple, everyday activities like walking can lead to an ankle sprain if the activity is being done on an uneven surface. The same goes for running or exercising. Those who partake in sports may be more susceptible to obtaining a sprained ankle because they’re more likely to fall or land uncomfortably after a jump, which can lead to an injury.
It’s important to note that some of the main risk factors that can lead to sprained ankles are improper footwear, a prior ankle complication, weakness or lack of flexibility in the ankle region, and as mentioned above, uneven surfaces and involvement in sporting activities.
To better prevent an ankle sprain, it’s recommended to warm up before partaking in intense physical activities, use caution when walking or running on rough surfaces, consider using tape or wearing a brace on a previously injured ankle, and avoid frequently wearing footwear that puts tension on your ankles, like high heels.
In order to alleviate some discomfort caused by an ankle sprain, it’s recommended to get plenty of rest, try icing the affected area, keep the ankle elevated, and wrap or compress the ankle so it has little to no motion. For a professional diagnosis and information on treatments for a sprained ankle, consult with a podiatrist.