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The Traditional Sprain - Overview and Risk Factors

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It is highly likely that you or an immediate family member has suffered an ankle or wrist sprain. It is one of the most common injuries in America, effecting approximately 25,000 people a day. Yes, you read that right, 25,000 people a day - not year - suffer from a sprain. Most of these sprains occur in the ankle or wrist, but it can happen to any joint, including your elbows and knees and even fingers.

Someone once told me that breaking your ankle is better than spraining it. I couldn’t figure out the reasoning behind that for years since I never experienced a sprain first hand. After what can be described as an unfortunate and clumsy accident, and a diagnosis of good old fashion sprain, I now realize that sprains are far worse than a break.

A sprain – sometimes confused with a strain – is when a ligament, or the thick fibrous tissue that surround your joints, are stretched or torn. Ligaments only allow the joint to move in specific direction, so an example of a sprain is rolling your ankle over in high heels. That is referred to as an inversion sprain, and the most common of all sprains. And funny (or not so funny) enough, almost a third of recorded ankle sprains are a result of women rolling their ankle in high heels. Haven't we discussed the repercussions of wearing high heels?

Ladies, I love a pretty, shiny and very high heel here and there, but if you can’t walk in them properly you will pay the price. I can’t urge you enough to steer clear of these types of shoes. Aside from ankle sprains, these beautiful investments can cost you more medical conditions than you ever imagined. I advise you to back away from the high shoes! Moving on …

The other two-thirds is comprised of sports injuries, lack of stretching, freak accident, walking or running on uneven surfaces, or wearing shoes in general that don’t fit well.

But when you do miss a step running up stairs, or crash and burn on the uneven sidewalk staring at a hottie, what exactly will you experience?

Pain is the obvious statement. But aside from pain, when you suffer a sprain there is a lot that is happening to the effected joint that you can look for on the outside to determine how severe your injury is. The ligaments surrounding and stabilizing your joints are stretched, or even torn in a severe sprain, causing common injury symptoms such as swelling, bruising and stiffness. This injury is no walk in the park and depending on the severity can take weeks longer than a clean break to heal properly.

Check back Wednesday where we will discuss the toll a sprain can take on your recovery compared to a break, and also we will examine the classifications of sprains and treatment options depending of the severity of your injury.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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