Learn about the causes of Sprain (Ankle, Knee) & find a practitioner in Auckland, Hamilton, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin to help you overcome Sprain (Ankle, Knee) within New Zealand.
To 'sprain' is defined as 'to weaken, as a joint, ligament, or muscle, by sudden and excessive exertion, by wrenching; to overstrain, or over stretch causing injury.'
An ankle or knee sprain is an injury to the ligaments at or near a joint. Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that connect one bone to another helping hold joints together. When a sprain occurs it causes ligaments to become overstretched, torn or twisted.The ankle is the most frequently sprained joint.
A minor sprain will lead to the ligament being over stretched whilst a serious sprain will lead to the ligament being partially or completely torn. Sprains reduce joint mobility and display bruising and swelling. Swelling will appear shortly after injury but bruising and discolouration may not show until a few days later.
Sprains can be extremely painful with the smallest joint movement leading to increased pain. Severe sprains are often so painful that the patient will find it too painful to put any weight on the affected leg.
Ankle and knee sprains are common sports injuries, especially common in sports that involve jumping, running, landing, quick direction changes or lots of stopping and starting. Individuals with weak lower leg muscles, loose ligaments or an abnormal gait (style of walking) are most at risk of suffering sprains.
In the first instance a knee or ankle sprain can be treated by self-care and at a later time specialist therapy can be sought. Self care (for at least the first 48 hours after injury) can be carried out by following the acrony
Avoid moving the joint as much as possible and keep the weight of it for the first 24 to 48 hours.
By applying an ice pack you can reduce swelling, pain and bruising.
An ice pack could be anything from the freezer such as a bag of peas or simply a cold compress. To avoid the danger of frost bite have a material or cloth between the ice and the skin. An ice pack should not be applied for more than 20 minutes per hour every few hours.
Compress the joint by bandaging it with a support bandage preferably elasticised. It is very important to ensure the bandage is firm but not so tight that circulation is cut off. If the toes go blue for example then the bandage is too tight.
Raise the joint above the level of the heart – the most comfortable position may be lying down the leg raised on a couple of cushions. This is especially important whilst sleeping at night.
In addition to the RICE treatment over the counter anti-inflammatory or pain killers such as Ibuprofen can also help manage the swelling and pain. On the second day (after injury) bathing the injured joint in cold water for 1 minute followed by 3 minutes in hot water will assist the healing process. Repeat this for approximately 15 minutes.
After around 2- 3 days when you are able to start moving the joint again you may consider visiting a complementary therapist to assist your recovery. The aim is obviously to lose the pain, regain muscle strength, movement range and balance.
A wide range of therapies are able to assist recovery however it is worth noting that Massage therapy can help by promoting blood flow; physiotherapy can help with exercises, manipulation, heat application, ultrasound amongst other treatments.