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.
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.
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