How to Treat a Sprained Ankle and When You Should See a Doctor

A sprained ankle can happen to anyone at any time. It occurs when your ankle rolls or twists as you put it on the ground in a way that it wouldn’t normally go. When this happens the ligaments in the ankle are stretched. These ligaments are essential to stabilizing the ankle joint, ensuring you have a good range of movement without it being excessive. If these ligaments are stretched beyond where they normally should be then you will have sprained your ankle.

It should be noted that the severity of the sprain is controlled by how much you have overstretched the ligaments. However, the signs and symptoms of an ankle sprain vary from person to person.

Most Common Symptoms

The most common signs that you have sprained your ankle, other than standing on something and feeling a searing pain through your ankle, are:

  • Pain in the ankle which will be much worse when you try to place weight on your foot
  • Tenderness if you touch the offending ankle, you are likely to wince
  • Swelling around the ankle and potentially into the foot
  • Extensive bruising around the ankle, foot, and potentially spreading up the calf
  • Inability to move your ankle or foot properly
  • Sound of popping when the injury occurred

Treatment Options

The first thing you should do if you suspect a sprained ankle is call your doctor. In many cases, you will simply need to rest and look after it yourself. However, visiting a doctor is important as they will pick up any more serious issues and help you make a full recovery. They may have an x(ray completed to verify the damage to your ankle. 

In severe cases, the x-ray will show severe ligament damage or even broken bones in the ankle. 


It is a good idea to speak to a reputable professional, such as this physiotherapist Concord. They will help you devise an exercise program that can be done as your ankle heals. This will help to ensure it heals properly and maintains its strength. 

You’ll find this is instrumental to a speedy recovery and maintaining the best possible strength and movement in your ankle after it has recovered. 


It is a good idea to put ice on your ankle as soon as possible after the injury occurs. Ice decreases blood flow to the area, reducing inflammation. This will help to minimize the pain and subsequent movement issues. 

You can replace this with heat after the first 24 hours as this attracts blood to the area, ensuring your ankle has the nutrients it needs to make a full recovery. 


If you regularly play sort, especially those that require you to jump or run then you are at higher risk of ankle injuries. The same is true if you walk or run on uneven surfaces or if you have suffered an ankle injury in the past. 

If you don’t treat your ankle injury properly it can lead to complications in the future such as joint instability and chronic pain. That is why you should always visit the doctor with an ankle injury and follow their treatment advice.