How do I know if I have a sprained ankle in Kansas City?
Facing a sprained ankle in Kansas City? F.I.T. Muscle & Joint Clinic can help.
Summer is a great time to stretch your muscles, get a great workout, soak up some fresh air and sun, and spend time with friends and family.
However, after a long winter, many of us forget some of the most important rules of being active.
One of the most common summer injuries we see at F.I.T. Muscle & Joint Clinic is a sprained ankle in Kansas City.
Spraining your ankle is painful and can become a catalyst for long-term limits to your comfort and range of motion.
Read on for everything you need to know about a sprained ankle.
Do I have a sprained ankle? Is my ankle twisted, rolled, sprained, or broken?
If you’ve experienced a twist or a fall this summer, you may be experiencing some pretty stark symptoms in one or both of your ankles.
But how do you know what’s wrong, exactly? Do you have a severely sprained ankle in Kansas City, or will you be able to walk it off? We understand that not everyone wants to or can afford to go to a doctor or emergency room if it’s not necessary.
There are a few different types of ankle injuries we see in Kansas City, including sprains, fractures, and breaks.
What is a sprain?
An ankle sprain is anything that happens when you twist, turn, or roll your ankle in an unnatural way. This stretches or tears the ligaments surrounding the ankle joint and leads to soreness, swelling, and decreased mobility.
Sprained Ankle Grades
There is a method of determining the varying degrees of a sprained ankle in Kansas City at F.I.T. Muscle & Joint Clinic using a “grade” system.
In Grade 1, the ankle is stable and the integrity of the ligaments is not severely compromised. It’s possible to walk, but the area may feel swollen, tender, or stiff.
In Grade 2, walking is painful and damaged areas of the ligaments are tender to the touch. Swelling and bruising of the affected ligaments are semi-severe.
In Grade 3, the ligaments have likely gone through a complete tear. This will lead to more intense pain, as well as severe swelling and bruising.
Not sure where you’re at on this scale? Believe you’ve experienced a sprained ankle in Kansas City? Here’s what to do when you feel pain in your ankle after a fall.
“My ankle is swollen and red. It’s uncomfortable to walk.” (Grade 1)
Most likely, your ankle is twisted and swollen. The swelling is a result of the ligaments being exposed to more stress than usual, and could possibly be strained or stretched.
Elevate your ankle and apply ice. Swelling will vary. While it’s not imperative to see a doctor, you can always contact our team to set up an appointment so we can check the injury to make sure it’s not sprained or broken.
“My ankle is extremely swollen, tight, and purple or green. It’s painful to walk.” (Grade 2)
Elevate the ankle and apply ice to help reduce the swelling. You may need to seek imaging to determine if the tear is partial or full and will need to pay extra attention to the injury to make sure it heals correctly.
“My ankle is so swollen and bruised that it gives out; it’s impossible to walk.” (Grade 3.)
Be very careful with your Grade 3 sprained ankle in Kansas City. Without proper care, you may be looking at permanent instability. This may require a brace, cast, or boot for a few weeks. Depending on your age and level of athleticism, surgery may be an option to help correct this level of an ankle sprain.
“I can see bone through the skin of my ankle. I can’t even stand.”
Anytime you can see a visible bone sticking through the skin, this should be your number one sign that you need to go to the nearest emergency room. And yes, this means immediately dialing 911 if you are not with someone who can transport you to a hospital for a sprained ankle in Kansas City.
When you can see a bone sticking through the skin, that means your ankle is broken. You must stabilize the injury and keep your ankle in the same position to avoid injuring the area any further.
You will need to follow all of your doctor’s orders to ensure it heals properly and does not risk any infection or other long-term side effects.
If your ankle pain existed before a twist or fall, but the fall made it worse, this could be a stress fracture. A stress fracture is an injury that has been exacerbated over a long period of time. This occurs through repetitive movements, repetitive injuries, or weakened muscles or bones (including osteoporosis).
Then, as the result of a fall—when you may have only experienced a twist or minor swelling otherwise—the bone itself actually fractures.
Treatments for a Sprained Ankle & Ankle Pain or Soreness
There are a wide variety of treatment options we offer for a stress fracture, ankle pain and tightness, or a sprained ankle in Kansas City.
Firstly, we will want to make sure your ankle is well on its way to healing. Your primary care doctor should be following along on your progress using X-rays and other visual cues to understand your body’s improvement.
Initially, most doctors will recommend a R.I.C.E. method of treatment—Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
At some point in your healing process, they may then recommend visiting a physical therapist, depending on the severity of your pain.
Once you’re at F.I.T. Muscle & Joint Clinic for the treatment of a sprained ankle, you can rest assured that our providers are highly trained in this type of injury and know just how to care for you.
We can work with you to create a care plan that will have you feeling better than before you sprained your ankle in the first place!
Some of the measures we may take to treat your healing sprained ankle in Kansas City include:
- Kinesio Taping (KT Tape) to help support the joint during the healing process;
- Rehabilitation & Stabilization Exercises to regain & re-strengthen the surrounding muscles & tissues; and
- Chiropractic Adjustments to regain mobility and relieve severe pain.
Sprained Ankle Recovery Time
With the methods above, the typical recovery time for a sprained ankle should not feel extensively long. However, feeling back to normal can take time.
The recovery time of a sprained ankle is incredibly variable depending on your lifestyle and other health factors.
Sprained ankle still swollen after 2 months? Contact us.
How to prevent a sprained ankle in Kansas City
The best thing you can do to protect yourself against a sprained ankle in the first place this summer is to take a few easy, simple precautionary measures before any activity.
You should ensure your shoes have proper support, and not just for the bones and muscles in your feet—for your ankles, too. This is especially true if you plan on going hiking, walking, or running on elevated surfaces or slopes. Basically, anywhere the ankle is more likely to bend at a more extreme angle.
If you aren’t sure what kind of shoes you need, the easiest thing to do is ask. Our experts can help make suggestions and recommendations if you are in the market for a new pair of athletic shoes or hiking boots. This can ensure your body is getting the proper leverage and support from your new kicks and will help you avoid a sprained ankle in Kansas City.
Adequately resting in-between workouts or training sessions will allow you to have plenty of “time off” for your most active joints and muscles.
Warm Up & Cool Down
When you regulate your body temperature before and after your summer activities, you allow your muscles to be more responsive to stretching by increasing their elasticity.
One of the easiest and most important things you do to prevent a summer injury like a sprained ankle in Kansas City is to stretch. Be sure you’re stretching correctly, though. Not stretching enough muscles, or for enough time before you begin an activity, can leave you much more likely to injure yourself. You’ll also have a hard time recovering afterwards.
Dynamic stretching, which involves using a range of motion to improve mobility, is the optimal way to get your body ready for exercise. If you’ve never performed dynamic stretching before, our physical therapists can teach you all of the proper techniques to help you feel and perform great.
If you have had a previous sprained ankle or other ankle injury, it’s most likely a good idea to reinforce the foot and ankle with a brace in the short term. This will ensure you have the support and stability you need to keep going. But beware—using a brace long term can actually lead to less stability.
Before, during, and after your activity, be sure you’re not only paying attention to where you walk, but also to yourself. Experiencing fatigue or pain? That’s your body’s way of telling you to slow down. If you don’t listen to it, you may be facing a painful sprained ankle in Kansas City.
For more intense athletes, chiropractic sports medicine and performance will be useful for reducing your risk of injury and even enhancing your in-game performance.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sprained Ankles in Kansas City
Can a sprained ankle heal overnight?
In short, no. Consult your primary care physician before taking any measures other than the RICE method to help heal your sprained ankle in Kansas City. In the case of Grade 1 (mild) sprains, light exercise to strengthen muscles in the calf and ankle may help increase blood flow and improve balance and stability.
How long does a sprained ankle stay swollen?
Swelling is the result of inflammation and increased blood flow. The ankle joint swells the most and longest of all body joints due to gravity dependency. However, if you elevate and ice the injury for 72 hours after your initial fall, you should notice a reduction in swelling. If it doesn’t, reach out to your primary care provider.
I have ankle pain when walking. Did I sprain it?
A physician can diagnose a sprained ankle in Kansas City. The physical therapists at F.I.T. Muscle & Joint Clinic can assess your ankle to determine any underlying dysfunction that is causing pain while you walk. We will then determine a treatment plan to help relieve the pain and address any biomechanical issues.
Can a physical therapist treat outside ankle pain?
Yes. Pain on the outside of an ankle is often attributed to an inversion ankle sprain, although there may be another reason. Our physical therapists will first evaluate to determine the exact cause of your pain. We will then provide conservative manual treatment options and rehabilitative exercises to improve stability and function.
What other questions do you have about your sprained ankle in Kansas City?
F.I.T. Muscle & Joint clinic is here to help. Contact our office anytime or schedule an appointment if you’d like to further discuss your sprained ankle in Kansas City. The team at one of our five convenient metro locations will be happy to assist you further.