It’s important for your ankles to stay strong and flexible for you to be able to stand, walk, run and do anything else that requires you to be on your feet. Unfortunately, the ankles are vulnerable to injuries like sprains, which can keep you from getting on your feet for work or recreation.
If you’ve hurt your ankle and aren’t sure if your ankle is sprained, you should get to know the seven common symptoms of a sprained ankle so you know when it’s time to seek help. Of course, if there is ever any doubt, even after reviewing these symptoms, don’t hesitate to visit a health care professional for an assessment.
Seven symptoms of a sprained ankle
- Pain in the ankle
- Swelling and tenderness
- Inability to place your full weight on the ankle
- Ankle feels loose or unstable
- Limited range of motion
- Hearing a popping sound at the time of injury
Furthermore, consider what happened in the events leading up to your ankle pain. Sprained ankles don’t just appear out of nowhere. If you have ankle pain after one of the following activities, you might have a sprain:
- Stepping onto an uneven surface and rolling your ankle
- Missing a step or stumbling off a curb
- Landing on the side of your foot after jumping
- Rolling your ankle when wearing high heels
- Tripping or falling
- Cutting from side to side when running, such as when playing soccer or tennis
- A direct impact to the ankle, such as in a motor vehicle accident or a sports injury
What to do if you think your ankle is sprained
If you suspect you have a sprained ankle, the first thing you need to do is apply the P.R.I.C.E. method:
- P — Protect the ankle. Keep off your foot and don’t let anything touch or fall on it.
- R — Rest. Lie down and let your body focus on responding to the injury.
- I — Ice. Apply a cold pack or a bag of ice to the ankle for 15 minutes every two or three hours.
- C — Compress. Wrap the ankle in a compression bandage to help manage the swelling. Avoid wrapping too tight and cutting off your circulation.
- E — Elevate. Lie down and raise your ankle above your heart level. This helps drain the swelling.
After applying the P.R.I.C.E. method, you need to schedule an appointment with a doctor for an examination to make sure there are no fractures. If your doctor confirms that the cause of your pain is a sprain, it’s time to schedule an appointment with a physical therapist.
Visit Armor Physical Therapy for sprained ankle treatment
Our physical therapists at Armor are highly skilled in treatments that help manage your sprained ankle pain while recovering. Physical therapy also helps improve the speed and quality of your recovery, while helping to lower your chances of future injury. Contact our team today for more information about sprained ankles or to schedule an initial treatment.