As the winter season approaches, many of us look forward to spending time outdoors, engaging in physical activities such as skiing, snowboarding, ice skating and even just walking on snowy and icy surfaces. However, with these activities comes the risk of ankle sprains, which can be painful and uncomfortable and limit our mobility.
Stuart J. Mogul, DPM, FACFAS, sees many patients this time of year with ankle sprains. He reviews the causes, symptoms and treatment of wintertime ankle sprains.
What is an Ankle Sprain?
An ankle sprain is a common injury that occurs when the ligaments that connect the bones of the ankle joint are stretched or torn. Ankle sprains are often caused by twisting or turning the ankle in an unnatural way, which can happen during physical activities or even just walking on uneven surfaces. Ankle sprains can range from mild to severe, depending on the extent of the damage to the ligaments.
Causes of Wintertime Ankle Sprains
Wintertime ankle sprains can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Slippery surfaces: Snow and ice can make surfaces slippery, increasing the risk of slipping and twisting the ankle.
- Uneven surfaces: Walking or running on uneven surfaces, such as in a snowy or icy field, can cause the ankle to twist and turn in an unnatural way.
- Physical activities: Engaging in physical activities such as skiing, snowboarding or ice skating can increase the risk of ankle sprains due to the high impact and pressure placed on the ankle joint.
Symptoms of Ankle Sprains
The symptoms of an ankle sprain can vary depending on the severity of the injury. However, some common symptoms include:
- Pain and tenderness around the ankle joint
- Swelling and bruising
- Difficulty walking or putting weight on the affected ankle
- Stiffness and limited mobility
Treating Ankle Sprains
If you suspect you have an ankle sprain, it is important to seek medical attention to determine the severity of the injury and receive appropriate treatment. Dr. Mogul may recommend:
- Rest: Resting the affected ankle can help prevent further damage and allow the ligaments to heal.
- Ice: Applying ice to the affected ankle can help reduce swelling and pain.
- Compression: Wrapping the affected ankle with an elastic bandage can help reduce swelling and provide support.
- Elevation: Elevating the affected ankle can help reduce swelling and promote healing.
In some cases, he may proscribe physical therapy to help improve mobility and strengthen the ankle joint.
NYC Ankle Sprains Treatment
Wintertime ankle sprains can be painful and limit our mobility, but with proper care and treatment, most people can recover from this injury and resume their normal activities. If you suspect you have an ankle sprain, it is important to seek medical attention and follow Dr. Mogul’s recommendations for treatment and prevention.
When you sustain an ankle sprain and do not give it enough time to thoroughly heal, it is more likely to be reinjured. When this cycle is repeated, it leads to chronic ankle instability which weakens the ligaments more with each injury. Contact Stuart J. Mogul, DPM, FACFAS, in New York if you injure your ankle this winter. He can help you get back on your feet quickly.