Ouch! How to Stop the Sprain Cycle
One in every 10 visits to an emergency department is for a sprained ankle. And yet, some still believe it’s just an injury of inconvenience.
“People misjudge the severity and end up not getting the proper treatment,” said Ryan DeBlis, MD, a CHI Health orthopedic surgeon. “Our ‘suck it up’ mentality can put student athletes at risk for cartilage and bone damage, not to mention a lifetime of painful problems like arthritis.”
Not surprising to DeBlis, a recent study found a third of ankle sprain sufferers were still having pain a year later. “Without proper treatment, including resting for four to six weeks and rehab for strengthening, we’re seeing a cycle of sprain on top of sprain,” he said.
How do you know when it’s more than just soreness? “If you hear a pop or tearing noise, get to the doctor right away,” DeBlis said.
And keep in mind, once an ankle ligament is sprained, reinjury is 73% more likely – especially if muscle strength and balance are not fully restored to, or improved beyond, preinjury levels.