The most common ankle sprain is an inversion ankle sprain. This is where you roll your ankle inward. Swelling can be significant and ligament tears as well as joint injuries, even fractures can occur. Thankfully most ankle injuries are a joint sprain to the lateral malleolus or distal tibio-fibular joint. This is the outside ankle bone. Swelling is typically on the front and side of the ankle. Stiffness of the ankle is common.


Things to look for


Unable to stand on one leg without pain

Swelling and bruising around the ankle joint

Loss of ankle motion

Pain with turning your toes inward


You should start doing this…




This old acronym remains a great foundation for treating ankle sprains.




Rest your ankle, get off of it. Crutches sometimes are needed. If it hurts to put weight on your foot then non-weight bearing is appropriate. 




Ice your ankle 4 to 5 times a day for 15 to 20 minutes. Ice is one of the best ways to reduce swelling.




Put a tensor or ACE wrap on your ankle, starting from the bottom and moving up in a angled fashion.




When you are sitting down, prop your injured foot up. This will help with swelling. Get your ankle above your knee, above your hip.


There is a quick test to know if you have sprained your ankle joint and a great taping technique to speed up healing. Check this video out.


Ankle Sprain Evaluation and Treatment



“Physical Therapy is also your friend when it comes to sprained ankles. Not only will it allow you to get back to your activities faster, it will help prevent you from getting sprained ankles in the future.”

Dr. Daniel Paull, Easy Orthopedics





Remember, you do not want pain with any of these exercises!



Exercises should be pain free. Once you can do an exercise comfortably and with ease, with no pain, then progress to the next level.


Diagnostic Ultrasound of the ankle can screen for fractures as well as locate areas of swelling that indicate tears of ligaments or capsules. This is fast and safe to do. Fractures that have been missed on x-rays have been picked up with Diagnostic Ultrasound at Cornerstone.


Diagnostic Ultrasound is a great screening tool!




Dry needling to the lower leg muscles can reduce pain with walking following an ankle sprain. This can be a faster way of progressing through healing by adding this treatment. To try dry needling or for an evaluation of the ankle call Cornerstone at 719-596-5000.