When the ankle bones twist or receive too much force, the ligaments surrounding the outside of the bones may suffer from over-stretching or tearing, resulting in a painful ankle sprain. There are different levels of severity when it comes to ankle sprains, and if the sprain is not properly diagnosed and treated, it can cause permanent, lasting ankle trouble.
What Are Symptoms of an Ankle Sprain?
- Swelling after twisting or injuring the ankle area
- Instability of the ankle
- Bruising of the ankle area
- Pain in the lower leg
How Is an Ankle Sprain Treated?
- Apply ice to the ankle area and elevate the affected lower leg to lessen swelling
- Rest the ankle from activity, exercise, and even walking
- Limit motion and support the injured ankle by wrapping it with compression bandages
- If the sprain involves severe twisting or tearing of the ligaments, surgery may be necessary to repair the damage and tighten the over-stretched ligaments
How Can Ankle Sprains Be Prevented?
- Wear properly fitting, supportive footwear, especially during exercise and sports
- Protect weak ankles from sprains and re-injuries with appropriate ankle braces and supports
- Keep the ankle muscles strong and flexible through regularly exercising and stretching them as well as the surrounding muscles