What is an ankle sprain?
- There are tough bands of tissue called ligaments that hold the bones together in the ankle. A sprain occurs when you roll your ankle too far inward or outward and stretch 1 or more of those ligaments too far. This causes pain, swelling and sometimes bruising, and it can cause the ankle to become unsteady or painful to walk on.
How do you test for an ankle sprain?
- A medical provider will examine your ankle and ask questions about how the injury happened. Sometimes an x-ray is recommended to check for broken bones.
How are ankle sprains treated?
- Remember RICE therapy!
- Rest: Avoid activities that worsen the pain
- Ice: Apply ice to the ankle for 15 minutes at a time, every 1-2 hours.
- Compression: Wrap an elastic bandage around your ankle and/or foot for pressure. This provides support and helps to reduce swelling.
- Elevation: Keep your foot propped up on pillows or blankets to raise it above the level of your heart.
- You can take Tylenol or ibuprofen to help relieve the pain.
- After the pain and swelling has improved, you can start doing gentle exercises to help regain your full range of motion and strength and to help the ankle sprain heal more quickly.
Do I need to see a medical provider for this?
- If it is mild and you are still able to comfortably bear weight on your ankle, then not necessarily.
- However, if you are having any difficulty putting weight on the injured ankle or if your ankle feels unstable, then it would be best to get it checked out by a medical provider.
If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact the Quincy Student Health and Wellness Center at (509) 787-8943.