By Hampton Roads Foot and Ankle Specialist
May 13, 2020
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: ankle sprain  

Follow these tips for a fast, effective recovery after a sprained ankle.

You came down hard on your ankle and now it’s achy, sore and stiff. Could you be dealing with a simple strain or is your ankle actually sprained? From sports incidents to simple movements that jolt the ankle ligaments out of place, a sprained ankle can happen for a number of reasons. In fact, ankle sprains are a common problems our Williamsburg, VA, podiatrists Dr. Sara Bouraee, Dr. Jon Houseworth, and Dr. Jeremy Walters diagnose and treat.

How do I treat an ankle sprain?

Follow the RICE method for recovery,

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation

You can also take over-the-counter painkillers to reduce both pain and swelling. Compression or wrapping the ankle can also provide stability and support. Not sure how to wrap a sprained ankle? No problem! Here’s a video from the Mayo Clinic that will show you how.

Do I have to see a doctor about a sprained ankle?

If your symptoms are mild you probably won’t need to see a doctor; however, it’s a good idea to give our Williamsburg, VA, foot doctor a call if you are experiencing,

  • Severe pain that isn’t responding to at-home care and rest
  • Difficulty putting weight on the ankle or you experience intense pain when standing or walking
  • Symptoms that get worse or don’t improve within five days of rest and home care

What are the symptoms of a sprain?

The symptoms you experience will depend on the severity of your ankle sprain. A sprained ankle is measured in grades I-III, or mild to severe. Mild sprains will cause some minor pain and stiffness but the ankle will still feel strong and stable when walking or standing.

Moderate sprains won’t feel completely stable and you’ll have restricted mobility and range of motion in the ankle. This is usually accompanied by moderate pain, swelling and tenderness. Severe sprains occur when the one or more ligaments in the ankle are completely torn. This will cause severe pain and swelling, as well as instability within the ankle. You won’t be able to move the ankle without experiencing pain. Severe sprains should be examined by a medical professional as soon as possible.

How do I know that I have a sprain?

Sometimes it’s easy to mistake a sprain for something more serious like a fractured ankle bone; however, while a fracture will also cause pain and inflammation, the pain is usually severe, unresponsive to rest and home care, and causes you pain whenever you walk. If you notice severe swelling or a bony protrusion sticking out from your ankle these are telltale signs that this is a fracture, not a sprain.

If you are experiencing symptoms of a sprained or broken ankle here in Williamsburg or Hampton, VA, contact the team at Hampton Roads Foot and Ankle Specialists for treatment and care. Call us at (757) 220-3311 if you have any questions or concerns.

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