Sprained Ankle Treatment and Prevention

sprained ankle treatment

To help with your sprained ankle treatment, you’ll need to first ease the pain and bring down the inflammation. Make an appointment immediately for any ankle sprain, mild or severe. Your doctor will examine you and let you know if something more severe is happening with your ankle.

Throughout a physical, your doctor will look at your ankle, foot and lower leg. The doctor will identify the the region of the injury by recognizing points of tenderness and shifting your foot to make sure the range of motion and to identify what positions cause uneasiness or pain.

If the injury is serious, your doctor may advise one or more of the following scans to exclude a broken bone or to assess in more detail the amount of ligament damage:

X-ray. During an X-ray, a little amount of radiation passes through your body to create images of the bones of the ankle. This assessment is good for preventing bone fractures.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRIs make use of radio waves and a strong magnetic field to create comprehensive cross-sectional or 3-D images of soft inner structures of the ankle, as well as ligaments.

CT scan. CT scans can expose more information regarding the bones of the joint. CT scans obtain X-rays from a lot of diverse angles and merge them to create cross-sectional or 3-D images.

photo of a sprained ankle

Ultrasound. An ultrasound makes use of sound waves to create real-time images. These images can help out your doctor evaluate the situation of a ligament or tendon when the foot is in changed positions.

Sprained Ankle Treatment

The sprained ankle treatment that’s best for you depends on the severity of your injury. The treatment goals are to decrease pain and inflammation, endorse healing of the ligament, and bring back function of the ankle. For serious injuries, you possibly be referred to an expert in musculoskeletal injuries, for example an orthopedic doctor or a physician concentrating in physical medicine and rehabilitation.


For self-care of an ankle sprain, use the R.I.C.E. approach for the initial two or three days:

Rest. Avoid actions that cause pain, inflammation or uneasiness.

Ice. Use an ice pack or ice slush bath right away for 15 to 20 minutes and do it again every two to three hours whilst you’re awake. If you have vascular illness, diabetes or decreased sensation, speak with your doctor before applying ice.

Compression. To help eliminate inflammation; compress the ankle using an elastic bandage until the inflammation stops. Don’t hold back circulation by wrapping too forcefully. Start wrapping at the end farthest from your heart.

Elevation. To decrease swelling, lift up your ankle above the level of your heart, especially at night. Gravity helps lessen inflammation by draining fluid.


Generally, over-the-counter pain relievers — such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve, others) or acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) — are adequate to handle the pain of a sprained ankle.

Sprained Ankle Treatment Devices

Since walking with a sprained ankle might be excruciating, your sprained ankle treatment requires using crutches until the pain settles. Depending on the severity of the sprain, the doctor may advise an elastic bandage, sports tape or an ankle support brace to calm the ankle. In the case of a severe sprain, a cast or walking boot may be required to immobilize the ankle as the tendon heals.

sprained ankle treatment


When the inflammation and hurting is lessened enough to continue movement, your doctor will request you to start a series of movements to reinstate your ankle’s range of movement, strength, flexibility and stability. Your doctor or a physical therapist will describe the suitable method and sequence of exercises.

Balance and stability exercise is especially vital to retrain the ankle muscles to collaborate to support the joint and to help avoid repeated sprains. These movements may involve a variety of balance challenges, for example standing on one leg.

If you sprained your ankle whilst exercising or participating in a sport, speak to your doctor about when you can continue your activity. Your doctor or physical therapist may ask you to perform meticulous activity and movement tests to conclude how well your ankle functions for the sports you play.


In rare cases, surgery is carried out when the damage doesn’t heal or the ankle remains unstable after a long period of therapy and rehabilitative activities. Surgery may be needed to:

  • Repair a ligament that won’t heal
  • Rebuild a ligament with tissue from a nearby ligament or tendon

Preparing For Your Appointment

Schedule a meeting or get emergency medical care for sprains that didn’t improve with self-care or that caused constant pain or unsteadiness. If your sprain is severe, you may be referred to a doctor who focuses in sports remedy or orthopedic surgery.

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