Understanding Ankle Sprains

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Ankle sprains are a serious injury, even when they are minor. Whether you just roll the ankle a little bit or fully twist it, it can be one of the most painful injuries you'll experience. Despite how painful they can be, many people don't take these injuries seriously, so they don't get the care and treatment that they should. Left untreated, ankle sprains can actually lead to future joint problems and an increased chance of re-injuring yourself. Treatment can vary some depending on the level of the injury. Here's a look at what you need to know.

Level One Sprains

Level one sprains are the most minor of the injuries. These are usually the result of slightly rolling your ankle, but not fully twisting it. In a level one sprain, the ligament in the ankle is stretched and pulled, but not torn.

With this type of injury, you'll notice pain and sensitivity when you try to walk, some swelling in the ankle, and stiffness. There shouldn't be any bruising, though. In general, these injuries heal within a couple of weeks.

These injuries are treated by simply resting the ankle for a few days, putting ice on it a couple of times a day, and potentially wrapping it with a bandage to support it.

Level Two Sprains

A level two sprain is a moderate injury, and is marked by much more pain in the ankle than a level one injury. You'll notice that the ankle swells markedly, and may even bruise with a level two sprain. In most cases, level two injuries are due to a small tear in the ligament, not just stretching it.

Because level two sprains involve actually tearing the ligament, they can take a couple of months to fully heal. In the meantime, you'll want to keep the ankle elevated, iced, and wrapped with a compression wrapping. You might even find that you need crutches for a little while.

Level Three Sprains

The worst of the sprain ratings is a level three injury. These are usually the result of a fully torn ligament, not just a small tear. They can be significantly painful when they first happen, but the pain often goes away right afterward, when the ligament is fully torn. You'll notice a lot of bruising around the ankle with an injury like this, and it will swell substantially. You'll need to keep it immobilized and rely on crutches while the ligament heals, which can take as much as three months to happen.

Visit a site like http://www.advancedfootclinic.org for more help.