Ankle sprains occur when the foot twists unexpectedly, tearing the ligaments on the outside of the ankle. It’s a very common injury and can happen when walking on an uneven surface, participating in sports, running, or falling down. When the ankle is twisted or rolled to the side an ankle sprain can occur.
A sprained ankle is painful. It may feel like a painful spring inside your ankle when you try to step on it. You may also experience symptoms that include:
What are the treatments for a sprained ankle?
There are three “grades”, or levels of severity for sprained ankles:
The majority of sprained ankles can be treated with rest, ice and varying levels of immobility. Severe sprains may require some level of physical therapy to restore full mobility after the recovery period has ended. Mild sprains can take two weeks to heal and more severe sprains may take 6 to 12 weeks.
The standard treatment for sprains is as follows:
Rest –do not walk on the ankle
Ice – apply ice to the swelling for 20 minute, three to four times daily
Compression – ace bandages or air casts support the ankle
Elevation – raising the ankle above the heart will reduce swelling and discomfort
The doctor will give you anti-inflammatory medications to control pain and swelling.
In cases where the ankle is very unstable, crutches will help provide stability while walking.