Injury - Sprains

Injury - Sprains


A sprain is caused by trauma (a fall, a twist, a blow to the body) that knocks a joint out of position and overstretches or even ruptures supporting ligaments. Some examples of this are when a person lands on an outstretched arm, slides into a base, lands on the side of the foot or runs on an uneven surface.

Though the intensity varies, pain, bruising and inflammation are common to all three categories of sprains: mild, moderate and severe. The person may feel a tear or pop in the joint. With a severe sprain, ligaments tear completely or separate from the bone. This loosening impairs joint function. A moderate sprain partially tears the ligament, producing joint instability and some swelling. A ligament is stretched in a mild sprain, but there is no joint loosening or instability.

The most common reason for an ankle sprain is having had one already. The best prevention of a second sprain is appropriate treatment of the first. Repeated sprains can lead to ankle arthritis, a loose ankle or tendon injury.

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