Posted on: June 24, 2013
The Pain of Ankle Sprains
By – Dr. Kurt Voellmicke, Director of Foot and Ankle Section for the Orthopedic and Spine Institute, Northern Westchester Hospital.
As a doctor I find that it is common for many to be confused over what constitutes a sprained ankle. What is a sprain, and what should you do if you have one? You’ll be happy to know that the answers are pretty straightforward.
A sprain is defined as a stretched or torn ligament — the tough, fibrous tissue that connects one bone to another and supports your joints. By far the most common type of sprain is in the ankle. Typically people roll their ankle outward and damage the ligaments on the outside of the ankle. Basketball and volleyball players are the most susceptible to sprains, followed by soccer and lacrosse players. Jumping and then landing unevenly or on the side of another player’s foot is the typical cause of a sprain. Ankle sprains can also occur sliding into a base or running on an uneven surface. Having high arches can put you at higher risk of a sprain: The foot is like a tripod. The higher one’s arch, the more the tripod tends to tilt to the side. Other risk factors include weakness of the supporting leg muscles or poor balance.