Ankle sprains are usually caused by a twisting or force on the ankle bones of the foot, which may result in excessive stretching or tearing of one or more ligaments on the outside of the ankle. Different severities of the sprain can impact the degree of damage as well as the type and duration of treatment. Symptoms of ankle sprains are pain following a twist or injury, swelling, and bruising. If not properly treated, ankle sprains may develop into chronic problems.
Treatment options include: applying ice, elevating the ankle to reduce swelling, and limit activities by resting. Also, compressive bandages/dressings may be used to immobilize and support the injury during healing. Serious ankle sprains, particularly among competitive athletes, may require surgery to repair and tighten the damaged ligaments.
To prevent ankle sprains, try to maintain strength, balance, and flexibility in the foot and ankle through exercising, stretching, and wearing well-fitted shoes.