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About 25,000 ankle sprains happen every day – and no wonder. An ankle sprain can happen when stepping on an uneven surface, running and losing your balance or simply moving and suddenly stopping or changing direction. An ankle sprain happens quickly, and more often than not we don’t think much of it when it does. But effectively treating an ankle sprain starts by paying attention immediately, even if the initial pain isn’t very alarming.

Symptoms of a Sprained Ankle

The ligaments on the outer side of your ankle get stretched or torn, and if not treated properly, the problem can become serious, especially if you experience pain along the inner side. Swelling usually follows shortly after the ankle is sprained, and just trying to move the foot will cause a significant amount of pain. However, if the pain is truly severe then the ankle might be fractured.

How to Treat Ankle Sprains

Treating a sprained ankle requires rest and crutches if needed. In order to keep the ankle stable you can wear a brace or wrap. To keep swelling down, place ice on the ankle, but not directly, and keep the ankle elevated.

Avoiding an Injury

A good practice to help avoid ankle sprains is to always warm up before taking part in sporting activities, wear shoes that are comfortable and provide the necessary support, pay attention when walking on uneven surfaces and not taking part in activities you are not conditioned for.