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Ankle Sprains

What Is an Ankle Sprain?

Ankle sprains are a common injury that impact athletes and non-athletes alike. A sprain can happen by stressing a joint or overextending a ligament, which may occur when:

  • Walking on an uneven surface

  • Tripping, falling or landing from a jump incorrectly


Symptoms may vary across individuals and often include:

  • Pain – An ankle strain and sprain can cause pain in the ankle and the area around the injury.

  • Swelling – The area around the injured ligament may become swollen.

  • Bruising – A sprained ligament in the ankle can present with bruising around the affected area.

  • Muscle spasms – A strained muscle in the ankle may cause muscle spasms at the injury.

Treatment Options

Most of the time, ankle sprains will heal after a few days of at-home care. When caring for a sprain, remember “RICE”:

  • Rest: Take a break from strenuous physical activity, including activities that cause pain or discomfort. Find things that take the weight off the ankle but keep you on the move. Bike, go for a swim, or try some simple stretching or modified yoga.

  • Ice: Use an ice pack for 15-20 minutes, and repeat every two hours to reduce pain and swelling.

  • Compression: Wrap the injured ankle with an elastic bandage. Be careful not to wrap the injury too tightly, and loosen if it becomes painful.

  • Elevation: Elevate your ankle above your heart to reduce swelling. Try propping your ankle on a pillow throughout the day and while sleeping.

Over-the-counter pain relief or anti-inflammatory medications may also help pain, swelling and other symptoms.

Ready for an Appointment?

If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of ankle sprains & strains, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.

Learn more about our doctors and care team who diagnose and treat ankle sprains & strains.