Ankle Twist or Sprain, No Big Deal?

What is an Ankle Sprain?

An ankle sprain is a pretty common injury that occurs when the foot is taken beyond its normal range of motion, usually forcefully, to one side or the other. A sprain (as I discussed in my Basic Self Treatment Guide) is an overstretch or small tear of the ligament (band of tissue that holds bones together).

Ankle injuries typically occur to the outer ligaments of the foot/ankle and less commonly to the inner foot/ankle. Ankle sprains happen to thousands of people daily but, of course, are more commonly experienced by athletes playing sports that require frequent “cutting” movements, jumping, and/or when multiple players are involved. I have seen many other populations of people, however, that experience ankle sprains.

Wait it Out?

In my experience the most common response to this common injury is to just “wait it out.” “It’s just a little sprain, I thought it would get better on its own, I put ice on it right after it happened” are usually what I hear when I see these patients several weeks after their “little sprain” doesn’t improve.

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