What is a Sprained Ankle?

 Sprained-AnkleWhen it comes to sprained ankles, they are far too common. Whether you landed too hard while playing ball or accidentally stepped into a hole and twisted your ankle. Unfortunately, these things happen and once they do, they tend to occur more often due to the ligaments being fragile after an injury.[/vc_column_text]

A sprained ankle occurs when the ligaments in your ankle tear or stretch too far. Your ligaments are strong stretchy bands that hold the bones of your ankle together. However, they do allow for some movent and when we push it too far, you might sprain your ankle. Many of us may hear people say I “rolled my foot.” When this occurs, we stretch out ligament on the outside ankle too far may cause damage.

Ankle Sprain Symptoms:

  • Ankle Pain
  • Tender to the touch
  • Swelling
  • Itching
  • Bruising
  • Cold or numbness
  • Stiffness

Causes of a Sprained Ankle

It’s common for a sprained ankle to occur while playing sports. Moreso from sports which require a lot of jumping or there is a possibility of stepping on someone’s foot.

These sports include:
  • Soccer
  • Volleyball
  • Basketball

However, this isn’t the only way we can cause an ankle sprain. It’s also common for a simple slip off the sidewalk for out ankle to twist and sprain. However, if you’ve sprained your ankle before, it’s far more common for it to happen again due to weak muscles. Therefore, it may be easier for that person to twist their ankle during everyday activities. 

Sometimes genetics even play a role in the causes of this injury. A condition called “hindfoot varus” might even make it more common for someone to sprain their ankle due to the heel naturally turning inward.

Diagnosing an Ankle Sprain

If your ankle sprain does not appear to be healing within a few days, it’s a good idea to call your physician and schedule a visit to rule out more serious injuries. 

When your doctor examines you, they should make sure that you haven’t injured the nerves or arteries to the foot.

  • The doctor will handle and move the foot and ankle to determine what bony areas are involved
  • The doctor will also check the Achilles tendon for signs of rupture.

Sprained Ankle Treatment


Once a sprain occurs, it’s important to rest and ice your injury immediately. This will help reduce swelling and inflammation. This will also help with pain relief once the swelling has subsided.

Compression is another important self-care method. Compression wraps such as ace bandages although provide minimal support will help keep your ankle somewhat stable while resting. However, it’s important to find a specialized brace if your ankle if the ace bandage is not providing enough support. Be careful not to wrap bandages too tightly, this might cut off circulation. 

Elevation will help to absorb the body’s fluid that has leaked into the tissue. When elevating your foot, make sure to prop your ankle up high enough so it is above the level of your heart. This can easily be achieved in a recliner. 

Anti-inflammatories can not only help reduce pain but also reduce swelling. There are many available over the counter for pain relief. However, if you have medical problems it’s always important to check with your doctor before taking any over-the-counter pain medication.

Medical Treatment:

If your sprain is not responded to the RICE method; rest, ice, compression and elevation, it’s important to see a doctor. An X-ray might be required to make sure there isn’t any further damage. Typically, a brace and crutches are provided to keep weight off of the sprained ankle. 

A follow-up appointment for an ankle sprain is usually only required if it is not healing properly. If you are experiencing the following after your visit, call your doctor: 

  • Pain persists after a couple of weeks
  • Swelling does not go down or worsens


Ankle Specialists

Our teams of qualified and skilled physicians provide a personalized experience in a caring and comfortable environment to enhance the quality of life of our patients. Utilizing the latest medical technologies and treatments, our staff are committed to delivering convenient and valuable services to meet the needs of the community.

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