While ankle injuries are fairly common in sports, basketball seems to be the game where this injury type occurs most often.
Ankle sprains typically occur when a player lands awkwardly after a jump, often twisting or rolling the ankle in some way, leading to the stretching and tearing or rupturing of the ligaments. Depending on the degree of damage to the ligaments, An ankle injury can be mild, moderate, or severe.
Mild ankle sprains occur when the ligaments are only slightly stretched or torn, and this is usually caused by a minimal level of impact. Walking is usually still possible when preceded with caution, with pain and swelling minimal. On the other hand, moderate sprains occur when ligaments suffer partial tearing - enough to result in greater pain and swelling, in addition to visible bruising and greater difficulty walking.
Both recommended treatments for mild and moderate ankle sprains include icing the ankle as soon as possible using the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation).
With that said, cold compression therapy systems such as Game Changers Sports Recovery’s Game Ready Therapy Machine are a modern and even more efficient alternative to RICE used by athletes today in the comfort of their homes. Learn more about the Game Ready Therapy Machine and how it can help to improve your recovery from basketball injuries.
Moderate ankle sprains should also require additional protective efforts such as wearing a soft cast, and X-ray imaging should be performed to ensure there isn’t any bone damage present.
Severe ankle sprains occur when ligaments are torn completely. This degree of damage results in instant pain and swelling, and bruising will be evident. X-ray imaging should be performed as soon as possible, along with immediate RICE or ideally, cold compression therapy. It is typical for these injuries to require a cast for up to over a month, followed by physical rehabilitation to help protect the area from further injury.
Remember: because basketball injuries aren’t always preventable, how you proceed with treatment and care is of critical importance. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to any basketball injury!
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