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Ankle sprains are the most common injuries. They often occur when you roll or twist your ankle in an awkward way. Treatment of sprained ankle depends on the severity of the injury. Doctors categorize the severity of sprained ankle in three grades: Grade I sprain, a mildly rolled or twisted ankle; Grade II sprain, tear in some of the ligaments; and Grade III sprain, tear in all ligaments. If an ankle sprain is left untreated, then it may become the reason of several other ongoing ankle problems.


For a Grade I sprain, follow RICE approach:

  • Rest: Don’t put more weight on your ankle. Skip, change, or take a break from activities that can increase your pain.
  • Ice: Apply ice for 15 to 20 minutes, which will keep down the swelling. For diabetic patients, make sure to consult a foot care specialist before applying ice.
  • Compression: Wrap the elastic bandage around your ankles and apply compression, which will help to control swelling and immobilize and support the injury.
  • Elevate: Elevate your ankle to drain the fluid caused due to the injury and reduce swelling.


For at least 72 hours after your ankle injury, avoid the following:

  • Heat: Avoid saunas, hot tubs, hot baths, and heat packs
  • Alcohol: Avoid alcohol, as it can make the blood thinner, which increases swelling and bleeding as well as slows down the healing process
  • Running: Take a short break from running
  • Massage: Massages can increase the swelling and bleeding. 

For Grade II sprain, follow RICE approach and allow more time for healing.

Grade III, or a high ankle sprain, is common among athletes involved in football or skiing. This type of pain puts you at risk for permanent ankle instability. If your ankle is still in a lot of pain even after six weeks, you may have a high ankle sprain. Here at Illinois Foot & Ankle Clinic, feet and ankles are what we do! We can help you get the best possible treatment and ensure a fast and full recovery. Same day appointments are available, so give us a call today.

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