Ankle Sprains and Ankle Pain

By Tim Wall MS/ATC

Ankle Sprains

What are the Grades of Ankle Sprains?

There are three different grades of ankle sprains.  These grades are based from mild to severe.

  • First degree or mild
  • Second degree or moderate
  • Third degree or severe
Ankle sprains and ankle pain usually are indicators that you may need to see a physician or therapist.

Ankle Sprains Can Cause Ankle Pain

The Degree of the Sprain is Determined by Severity of Ligament Damage in the Ankle

  • With a first degree sprain, the ankle ligaments have been stretched but not torn. Mild swelling is associated with this sprain.
  • In a second degree sprain, a partial tearing of the ligaments occurs. Also, there is moderate swelling and pain with this ankle sprain.
  • With a third degree sprain, the ligaments have been torn or ruptured. Also, there is significant swelling and the patient can usually not put weight on their ankle.

Ligaments are fibrous, elastic bands of tissue that connect and stabilize the bones. An ankle sprain is a common, painful injury that occurs when one or more of the ankle ligaments is stretched beyond the normal range of motion. Sprains can occur as a result of sudden twisting, turning or rolling movements.

Ankle Pain

Ankle sprains are one of the most common causes of ankle pain. The pain associated with a sprained ankle can be mild to severe depending on the severity of the injury. It is important to use RICE as your immediate first aid:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation

With the more severe ankle sprains, the patient is immobilized in a walking boot or sometimes a cast. Some third degree ankle sprains need surgical intervention.

What is the Fastest Way to Relieve Ankle Pain?

The quick answer is to use ice. Ice and the RICE technique will decrease the pain and swelling associated with ankle pain. If your ankle hurts to put weight down on it, you should use crutches or a walking boot to allow it to heal.

The RICE technique is good to follow for ankle sprains and ankle pain.

RICE Technique requires you to rest

Physical Therapy for an Ankle Sprain

Physical therapy is important for an ankle sprain to reduce the swelling and regain function. It is important to do ROM and strengthening exercises for the ankle. Therapists will work on returning balance and proprioception back to the levels prior to the ankle sprain. Athletic trainers will then make sure that the athlete is ready to return


Why Does the Area Around My Ankle Hurt?

This really depends on how you hurt your ankle to begin with. The ligaments for the ankle hurt when you sprain your ankle.  There are ligaments on the inside and outside of your ankle very close to the ankle bones. In addition, swelling can also cause pain around the ankle because it makes you walk differently. Fractures to the ankle must also be ruled out with an x-ray.

To Watch a Video About Ankle Sprains: Please go to Ankle Sprains

Ankle Braces

After a sprained ankle, it is important to wear some type of support for the ankle which is recovery. There are several types of ankle braces out on the market. The preference at JOI is the ASO ankle brace. Also, to learn more about ankle braces, please go to: Ankle Braces.

Which Doctor is Best for Ankle Pain?

An orthopaedic doctor who specializes in the treatment of the foot and ankle is the best doctor to see for ankle pain. It is important to be properly evaluated for your ankle pain. Pain in the ankle can occur for a variety of different reasons. Furthermore, our institute has several orthopedic foot and ankle specialists who can help get you back on the road to recovery.

JOI and JOI Rehab

JOI Physicians continue to offer online new patient appointments. This is another option to make it more convenient to make new patient appointments with less phone hold times. Follow the link below to select your JOI MD and schedule online.

You can still call 904-JOI-2000 to make new patient JOI Physician Appointments if that is your preference.  A new option, you can now schedule and cancel follow-up appointments with your physician at the JOI Patient Portal. 

To make appointments with JOI Rehab, please call 904-858-7045.

Related Video: Basic Ankle Ankle Exercises Video 

By: Tim Wall, MS, ATC 

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