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Ankle Sprains/ Strains
Aside from the intense pain that follows an ankle sprain or strain, you might find it difficult to walk or bear weight on the leg. This can hinder your normal activities such as driving or walking. If left untreated, your symptoms might worsen, and lead to complete immobilization of the ankle. Seeking help early is crucial to quick and complete recovery. At Polygon PT, we are here to get rid of your ankle pain using physical therapy. This eliminates the need for surgery and potentially harmful drugs. Contact a therapist today to get started.
What is an Ankle Sprain or Strain?
Sprain and strain have been used interchangeably to describe the tearing and stretching of the tissues around the joints, but they are different. An ankle sprain occurs when there is an injury to the ligaments of the ankle joint. Ligaments are thick fibrous cords that connect bone to bone. An ankle strain is an injury to the muscles surrounding the ankle joint. This is usually caused when the muscles are overstretched. The ligaments and muscles of the ankle help to stabilize the joint.
Causes and Risk Factors of Ankle Sprains or Strains
Ankle strain/sprain can be caused by several factors. They include:

Rolling or twisting the ankle


Injuries to the ankle from falls or other types of trauma such as motor vehicle accidents

Landing awkwardly on your foot from a jump

Exercising or walking on an uneven surface

When some lands on your foot during a sport activity

Risk factors that can contribute to ankle sprains and strains are:

Sports activities: contact sports such as football, soccer, or basketball can increase the chances of a ligament or muscle tear.

Repetitive movements of the ankle such as in soccer

Wearing inappropriate footwear

Symptoms of Ankle sprains or strains
You are likely to experience pain when you sprain or strain your ankle. The pain is usually intense, and you may find it difficult to move your ankle. Other symptoms you might experience include:
Ankle Sprain or Strain Diagnosis
A physical therapist at Polygon PT will evaluate your ankle joint to determine the location and severity of the tear. Your lower leg and knee joints will also be examined to ensure they weren’t affected. You’ll be asked to move your ankle in certain ways, so we can determine your range of motion. You may sustain other ankle injuries when you have a tear, therefore, imaging tests such as X-ray or MRI-scan might be recommended. We will walk closely with your doctor to achieve this.
Treatment for Ankle Sprains or Strains
Your physical therapist may prescribe the following:
Since individual cases vary, your PT would create a custom treatment plan for you. With physical therapy, you don’t need to take harmful pain medications or get surgery. However, for severe ankle strain or sprain, where the ligament or muscle is torn off completely, surgery is needed to stitch it back together. After the surgery, rehabilitation is crucial to promote quick recovery and a full range of motion of the ankle joint. Recovery might take a couple of weeks depending on the severity of the tear. It is important to not stress the ankle during this process. Your therapist will educate you on the prevention of tears in the future. This could be modifying activities that could lead to tearing, warming up properly before activities or exercises, and using protective gear for contact sports.
Get Started with Physical Therapy for Ankle Sprains/Strains Today
If you are experiencing symptoms associated with a ligament or muscle tear, it is best to seek help immediately, as symptoms can worsen over time. Early treatment means you get back to your normal activities as soon as possible and without pain. Our therapists are excited to help you achieve this, just as we have done for a lot of others. Contact a physical therapist right now.