Ankle sprains are common injuries that can happen to anyone at any age. A sprained ankle (or a ‘twisted ankle’) occurs when one or more ligaments in the ankle is/are overstretched or even torn. The severity of an ankle sprain depends on how worse the ligament(s) is/are injured and how many of them are involved.
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An ankle sprain often result from a sudden twist or roll that forces the ankle joint out of its normal position. Playing sports, wearing unsafe footwear (e.g. unfit, poor grip, high heel) and walking on uneven ground increases the risk of such a twist.
A sprained ankle usually brings you acute pain and swelling around the joint. Within a few hours, bruises may happened to your affected ankle. You may also experience difficulties in walking. In severe cases, tendons, cartilages and even bones might also be damaged due to the sprain.
Early treatments help to reduce discomforts and speed up recovery. It is critical to give you twisted ankle some rest so as to prevent further injuries. It is also helpful to apply ice to the injured area (10-15 minutes/session) within the first 48 hours. Massaging the affected ankle on the first few days is not recommended as this may cause further swelling. In early stage of the injury, acupuncture can relieve pain and enhance reabsorption of swelling. It also plays an important role in ankle rehabilitation. Stimulating acupoints like Kunlun (BL-60) and Taixi (KID-3) can help to regain mobility, strength and balance in the injured ankle joint.
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