Athletes often experience jarring motions when competing or participating in sports and often deal with lasting pain as a result. Though sprains are often brushed off as nothing serious by those who have never experienced them, they aren’t something to ignore. We’re here to break it down for you
What Is a Sprain and What Causes It?
A sprain is a sudden or harsh twist of a joint causing stretching or tearing of ligaments. It most commonly occurs after someone ‘rolls’ their ankle. This typically occurs when landing from a jump- maybe something is in the way of a balanced landing, or simply a leap or jump is unexpected and the landing is not controlled.
The most common cause of sprains is undoubtedly sports. Basketball, soccer, football and volleyball are all sports involving a great deal of jumping with the potential of landing wrong. Although sports is an extremely common culprit of a sprain, they really can result from any physical activity.
There are quite a few dangerous fallacies when it comes to sprains, including the following:
- Sprains aren’t that painful — Most athletes have probably heard it’s “just a sprain” and to “walk it off”, when in reality the athlete could very much be in a lot of pain – even as severe as the pain one would experience from a break. Furthermore, the last thing one should do, is put added pressure on the sprain by walking or worse, continuing on with the sport activity.
- There’s no such thing as a sprain — Many believe an injury of this sort is either a strain or a break, and sprains do not exist. This is false. Each of these three injuries is distinct and not only do they all exist, but should be taken seriously.
- You don’t need to see a doctor for a sprain — Depending on the severity of the sprain, it’s very possible an athlete will require a doctor’s attention for a sprain. Because strains, sprains and breaks can all be accompanied by severe pain, some athletes mistake breaks for sprains. This is why it’s important to seek medical attention if pain persists.
When to See a Doctor
Most of the time a minor sprain will clear up on its own, though it can take up to 12 weeks to do so. However, there are instances where the pain from a severe sprain persists past that point, or becomes too much to bear.
If rest, ice, compression and elevation don’t help alleviate the sprain’s symptoms within a reasonable period of time, the athlete should seek help from a medical professional. Likewise, if they are unable to place weight on the sprained foot after a few days, they should reach out to a doctor to take a look at the sprain.
Those who have experienced sprains in the past are more prone to dealing with recurring ones.
If you are experiencing the pain associated with a sprain, whether it’s your first or twentieth one, call us today at (919) 851-3435, or contact us here and we’ll be happy to help alleviate the pain and get you back in the game!