Statistics suggest that roughly 25,000 people suffer an ankle sprain each day. Some of these sprains are minor, others are mild, and some are severe. Whatever type of ankle sprain you suffer demands attention and appropriate care, but too often people try to push through their discomfort or simply ignore it and get on with their day. If you don’t take time and allow your ankle to heal, you can be susceptible to other injuries. Today, we take a look at five other injuries that can be brought on by failing to properly care for your ankle sprain.
Don’t Ignore A Sprain
Here are five additional injuries that can come about as the result of ignoring your initial ankle sprain:
1. Knee Injuries – If you are hobbled by ankle pain, your body may naturally try to compensate for that discomfort by altering your stride and putting more stress on your non-injured leg. This extra wear and tear on your knee can lead to ligament or cartilage damage.
2. Hip Injuries – Similar to knee injuries, unaddressed ankle pain can alter your stride and displace pressure to your hips. Your hip joint has a mechanical rhythm when walking, but if that rhythm is thrown off or extra weight is placed on one of the joints, you can develop regionalized hip pain.
3. Falls – Older individuals are at heightened risks for falls already, but when you add a sprained ankle in the mix you can have a recipe for disaster. Sprained ankles weaken the ligaments that help support the ankle, so you need to let them heal through rest and physical therapy in order to restrengthen them and ensure you aren’t at risk for a fall.
4. Back Problems – Back problems, like a couple other issues on this list, stem from an altered gait due to an ankle sprain. If you are shifting your weight to compensate for an ankle injury, your spine and the many surrounding structures will have to bear more stress. Spinal components can shift, causing injuries like pinched nerves or disc issues.
5. Another Sprain – Unaddressed ankle injuries can lead to what is known as ankle instability, which means the ligaments in your ankle aren’t offering your foot the necessary support. This leaves you susceptible to future sprains. If you find that your ankles seem to roll easily or often, there’s a chance a past ankle injury has damaged your ligaments to the point that they are no longer offering your foot the support it needs. Consider adding some targeted physical therapy to your exercise routine or set up a consultation with an ankle specialist.