(SGTTO) – A runner often experience sprains when running, which result in swelling, pain and walking difficulties. If the swelling is severe, the affected person should seek treatment immediately.
It is common for athletes to experience sprains in marathons. According to Dr. Wade Brackenbury, General Manager of the ACC Chiropractic Clinic, “Sprains usually occur suddenly, when a runner steps in a hole or on an uneven surface, or the side of his shoe catches wrong and the foot is twisted to the side”.
Sprains often happen in the ankles
Dr. Wade Brackenbury adds that a sprain is a traumatic injury involving ligaments which can occur in the knee or ankle. The most common form of sprains of the ankle happens when the foot strike wrongly, and the ankle turns in and twists stretching the ligaments on the outside of the foot and ankle. This is called an “inversion sprain”.
The same kind of sprain can occur on the inside of the foot, if the foot twists and is stretched externally. This is called an “eversion sprain”, which is less common as the ligaments in the medial part of the foot are much stronger than the lateral part.
When sprained, the runner feels a stiffness and intense pain around the ankle. The faster the leg swells immediately after the accident, the more serious it is.
“During this period, it is important to diagnose whether the ankle is sprained or there is actually a bone fracture.” – Dr. Wade Brackenbury
Mild sprain is quite common. Most runners would have gone through at least once during practice and competition. Usually, runners can recover completely without intensive treatment. With more severe sprains however, the tendons may show signs of tear and athletes need longer recovery time with combination treatment of physiotherapy, chiropractic, rehabilitation and special taping.
Once the ankle has been sprained, the condition may recur over and over again. While waiting for a full recovery, athletes need to learn how to perform muscle taping, and to exercise at a moderate intensity under guidance of the doctor or physiotherapist.
“When a sprain occurs, ice and compression should be applied immediately. In severe swelling, an X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be needed to determine the severity of sprain. According to the condition, the doctor and physiotherapist would have to teach you on how to do the rehabilitation for recovery” said Dr. Wade Brackenbury.
To avoid sprains, choose suitable shoes and be careful especially with soft or elevated soles as these kind of shoes are more likely to turn over and cause sprains. In addition to jogging, do more cross training with weights as well as functional exercises to strengthen the ankles.