An ankle sprain is one of the most common musculoskeletal injury.  Ligaments are the fibrous structures that hold the bones of the joints together. A sprain occurs when these ligaments are stretched beyond their limits and rupture completely or partially.

Causes of ankle sprains

The most common ligament of the ankle to rupture is the anterior talofibular ligament. Any stress applied on the ankle while playing games, walking on an irregular surface, awkwardly planting the foot on the ground or inverting the ankle with great force can cause a sprain.

Signs and Symptoms of an ankle sprain

Signs and symptoms of inflammation include severe swelling, a throbbing pain while walking and warmth as well as redness over the skin are experienced in a sprain.  

Diagnosis of an ankle sprain

Usually an ankle sprain does not require a trip to the doctor unless alarming symptoms such as severe uncontrolled pain and swelling, skin changes or numbness are present. In such a case the doctor performs a thorough exam using imaging techniques to rule out more severe injuries like a fracture.

Treatment of an ankle sprain

Home remedies form the basis of sprain treatments.  Resting the ankle with proper compression to limit the swelling and applying ice packs accompanied by OTC pain medication relief the sprained ankle.