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How to Effectively Treat a Sprained Ankle

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sprained ankle

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What is a Sprained Ankle?

If you suspect you have a sprained ankle, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. However, there are also some things you can do at home to make yourself more comfortable. A sprained ankle is often caused by an injury, where the ankle has been twisted. Damage is caused to the ankles ligaments, which are torn or stretched awkwardly.

Symptoms of a sprained ankle include swelling, bruising, and tenderness. You may also notice that the skin is discolored, and your ankle feels stiff. If you’re unable to put weight on your ankle, it’s likely to be sprained.


Your doctor will carry out a physical examination to determine whether you have a sprained ankle and to see which ligaments are torn. Your physician may also decide to order an x-ray to rule out a break or bone fracture.

If your injury is more severe, an MRI may be carried out to assess whether there’s a fracture, damage to the joint, or ligament damage. An MRI test will create a detailed image of your ankle using radio waves and a magnetic field.

Home Treatment

To recover properly, a sprained ankle will need to be rested to promote recovery and prevent any further strain or discomfort. It’s a good idea to rest your ankle as much as possible and avoid putting weight on your injury.

Wrap your ankle using an elasticated bandage. You should avoid wrapping it too tightly. You may also like to wear a brace, as this will give your ankle extra support. If you’re finding it challenging to move around, use crutches and avoid putting any weight on your ankle.

Keep your ankle elevated by using pillows to prop it up; this will help to reduce any swelling. You can also try taking an over the counter pain medication such as ibuprofen.

Your ankle may benefit from having ice applied to the injured area, as this will also help to reduce swelling. Apply an ice pack every half an hour on the first day and four times a day for the next two days. Mild sprains are likely to take up to ten days to heal. Severe injuries take much longer, and you may need to rest your ankle for several weeks


In some severe cases, surgery may be needed to correct the ligament damage. This will be recommended if the injury isn’t improving with rest and nonsurgical treatment. During reconstruction surgery, the doctor will stitch the torn ligament.


For most patients, a sprained ankle isn’t serious and will heal with rest and proper care. Pain and swelling are likely to reduce after a couple of weeks and eventually get better. However, you may be left with a weakness in your ankle, and it might not be as stable as it once was. Your doctor or physiotherapist may give you exercises to strengthen the muscles around your ankle.