High Ankle Sprains
A 'high' ankle sprain, also known as syndesmotic sprain, is an injury to the syndesmotic ligament that joins the tibia and fibula bones of the lower leg. The distinction exists because a "high" ankle sprain occurs above the ankle joint and is more severe than a sprain of the joint ligaments.
High ankle sprains typically occur when the foot is forced upward and outwardly. High ankle sprains are also subject to degrees of trauma but they may effect activity differently than joint sprains especially when it comes to putting weight on the ankle. Severe sprains, such as serious second degree and third degree sprains of the syndesmotic ligament, may allow for the bottoms of the tibia and the fibula to spread apart which is called diastasis. Sprains of this type are serious in terms of rehabilitation time but can usually be treated similarly to typical ankle sprains. The need for surgery depends on the stability of the injured ankle and whether or not diastasis is present.
Ankle Sprain Treatment
Upon spraining your ankle you will feel acute and localized pain on the side of the injured ankle. Depending on the severity of the injury, mild to heavy swelling will occur and may be accompanied by bruising and discolouration of the skin. The injury will be painful to the touch and it may be quite difficult to put weight on your ankle. Under these circumstances it is best to listen to your body and try to immobilize your ankle as much as possible.
The RICE (Rest Ice Compression Elevation) method has long been a tried and true treatment for sprains. The best way to heal is to reduce swelling and rest the ankle, the RICE method facilitates this as well as a quicker healing time.
Our cold compression wraps allow you to actively treat yourself using the RICE method. They work because they interrupt and slow nerve and cell function in the damaged area. Once blood vessels are damaged they can no longer carry oxygenated blood to the damaged tissue and therefore cells begin to break-down. The deep cold provided by our cold/warm compression wraps slows cell function thereby reducing cellular break-down. Furthermore, because the cold wraps serve to numb the nerves the wraps also reduce pain! Furthermore, our wraps keep the ice off the skin preventing frostbite and keep the cold in the area that you need it. You want to ice in 20 minute intervals with at least 45 minutes between each interval. Within a week or two it may prove useful to see your doctor about passive and more active stretching and strengthening for your injured ankle. For athletes, therapies will most likely be sports specific, and should be left to physical therapists.
When it comes time for more aggressive rehabilitation, stretching and activity, heat therapy warms the muscles in the injured area which increases range of motion and allows for a safer more thorough stretch.
It should be stressed here that in the initial stages of a sprain you should avoid treatments that will increase swelling such as hot showers, heat rubs, hot packs and consuming alcohol. During the initial phases of rehab the ankle should not be moved in any direction that mimics the direction in which the injury occured.
For more detailed information on how ultrasound is helping heal ankle sprains and many other injuries see our About Ultrasound section. Essentially, with regards to ankle joint sprains, ultrasound therapy provides stimulation to deep joint tissue. It has been found to aid distended connective tissue, which is important for stretching, thereby increasing range of motion for safer and more effective rehabilitation.
Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™
During normal use, activity promotes blood flow through our body. Our body responds to the activity by sending oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the muscles, joints and tissue. When we are at rest, the blood flow to your ankle is greatly reduced. But, when your ankle is injured, it really needs the blood flow to promote the healing process. Since you can't work your ankle without danger of further injury, you need to stimulate the blood flow another way. Our innovative Inferno Wraps give you the best Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ available. Inferno creates special energy waves that stimulate blood flow by penetrating through the outer layers of your ankle. The energy waves reach deep into your muscles, tendons and cartilage, reducing your pain as they heal the inner tissue.
An Inferno Ankle Wrap gives you unparalleled blood flow stimulation energy. You simply won’t find a comparable product on the market. Other therapy products can not come close to offering the comfortable, contoured fit and targeted energy treatment an Inferno Wrap provides. You will feel the soothing, deep penetrating warmth as it works to stimulate your blood flow, we guarantee it. Now you can reduce your pain and heal your ankle anywhere with the comfortable, light weight Inferno Ankle Wrap.
While it is true that ankle sprains seldom require a doctor's attention it may be apparent that your injury is severe enough to warrant a visit to him or her. If you have substantial and continual pain even after a week or any other cause for concern a visit to the doctor is an order. Doctors may prescribe medications, crutches, braces and in severe cases the ankle be placed in a full cast for several weeks. For full ruptures or recurring injuries, including "ankle instability", surgery may be required, however the vast majority of sprains do not require surgery.
Do you have more questions?
If you have any questions regarding our therapeutic products and your treatment options, please contact a MendMeShop Advisor for assistance. You can be assured all your questions will be answered in a thorough and courteous manner by our trained staff.
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