Is it a Sprain or a Break? How to Tell and What to Do

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Is it a Sprain or a Break? How to Tell and What to Do


Ankle injuries are frequent among active people, particularly those who participate in sports or exercise on a regular basis. Ankle injuries, whether caused by a rapid twist or a heavy impact, can be uncomfortable and impair your ability to walk or participate in your favourite activities. When an ankle is injured, one of the most prevalent queries is whether is it a sprain or a break. These sorts of injuries can cause pain, swelling, and trouble walking, but they require different treatments. This blog post from London Bridge physiotherapy centre One Body LDN, will go over how to identify if is it a sprain or a break, as well as what to do about it.

To begin, let’s define a sprain and a break. A sprain is an injury to a ligament, which is the tissue that links bones and gives joint stability. An ankle sprain happens when the foot twists or turns beyond its usual range of motion, stretching or tearing the ligaments. A break, on the other hand, is a fracture in one or more of the ankle joint’s bones. A break can range from a minor crack to a full bone break or displacement.

Sprain and Broken Symptoms

It might be difficult to distinguish between a sprain and a break because both ailments can produce similar symptoms. Yet, some symptoms can assist you in determining the severity of your injuries. If you have any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical assistance as soon as possible:

Pain that gets worse with movement or pressure
Around the ankle, there may be swelling, bruising, or discolouration.
Impossibility of bearing weight on the damaged foot
Ankle stiffness or difficulty moving
At the time of the injury, there was a popping sound or sensation.
Ankle deformity or misalignment

While a sprain might be unpleasant, it usually does not result in joint deformity or misalignment. A break, on the other hand, can cause the bone to shift out of place or cause an evident deformity in the ankle. If you suspect you have a broken bone, seek medical assistance right away to avoid further damage or complications.

Identifying is it a sprain or a break

Your healthcare provider will perform a physical exam and may prescribe diagnostic testing, such as X-rays or an MRI, to establish whether your ankle is sprained or fractured. During the evaluation, your provider will evaluate your range of motion and ability to bear weight on the damaged foot, as well as the location and degree of your discomfort. X-rays can assist detect a bone break or fracture, whereas an MRI can provide a more thorough view of soft tissues like ligaments and tendons. Your provider may order both types of imaging in some circumstances to get a thorough picture of your injuries.

Sprain or fracture treatment

The treatment method for a sprain or a break is determined on the degree of the injury. Moderate to severe sprains are frequently treated with the R.I.C.E. approach (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). This method reduces discomfort and swelling while allowing the ligament to recover normally. Physical therapy may also be recommended by your provider to help you rebuild ankle strength and flexibility.

More serious sprains or breaks may necessitate ankle immobilisation with a cast or brace to avoid further damage and facilitate healing. Surgery may be required in some cases to realign the bones and stabilise the joint. Based on the severity of your injuries and your overall health, your healthcare professional will recommend the best treatment option for you.

How to Avoid Ankle Injuries

It is critical to prevent ankle injuries in order to minimise the discomfort, inconvenience, and potential long-term damage that can follow from a sprain or fracture. Some preventative measures for ankle injuries include:

Employ correct footwear: It is critical to wear shoes that fit properly and provide adequate support to prevent ankle injuries. Athletic shoes are recommended for sports and other activities that require running, jumping, or other high-impact actions.

Warm-up and stretch: It is critical to warm up and stretch your muscles before exercising or participating in sports. Preparing your body for physical exercise can help prevent ankle problems.

Daily exercise can help you strengthen your muscles, which can help prevent ankle problems. Include workouts that target the muscles in your legs and feet.

Walking or jogging on uneven surfaces should be avoided because it increases the risk of ankle injury. When walking on uneven terrain, watch your stride and take measures.

Prevent high-impact activities: Jumping and other high-impact motions might increase the risk of ankle injury. If you are prone to ankle injuries, you should avoid these activities.

If you do have an ankle injury, it is critical that you seek care as quickly as possible. Sports massage and physiotherapy can be excellent treatments for ankle injuries, reducing discomfort and inflammation while also increasing range of motion. London physiotherapy centre One Body LDN provides these services and can assist you in recovering from your ankle injury and returning to your normal activities.

In conclusion, without adequate medical diagnosis, it might be difficult to tell whether an ankle injury is it a sprain or a break. If you have any indications of an ankle injury, such as pain, swelling, or trouble walking, you should seek treatment from a trained healthcare expert. You may lower your risk of ankle injuries and maintain your overall health and fitness by receiving correct treatment and taking preventative steps.

Do you have private health insurance? Or corporate benefits with the following companies – Bupa | Bupa cash plan | Bupa International | Vitality | Nuffield Health | Aviva | Cigna | Cigna International | WPA | Aetna | Allianz | Healix | Health Shield | Simplyhealth | Axa Private Health Insurance – our approved therapists are ready to take care of you! Contact us today to learn more!



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