How to Treat an Ankle Sprain


Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries treated by podiatrists. Almost everyone has strained or sprained an ankle just doing everyday activities like walking, stepping over a curb, or playing sports. One wrong step, and you can roll your foot over, twisting your ankle. While a minor strain will heal after several days of home care, a severely sprained ankle needs immediate professional attention to immobilize the foot and prevent further injury.

What happens when your sprain your ankle?

The ligaments and tendons that hold your ankle bones together are susceptible to getting overstretched when they are excessively stressed and twisted. This overstretching can cause considerable damage resulting in severe pain, swelling and bruising. Weight bearing will be difficult or impossible. 

Treatment for a sprained ankle

A minor ankle sprain can be treated with Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (the RICE method). This is most effective immediately following the injury and for several days afterwards. If you have a severe sprain it is important to immobilize the foot. A specially designed cast boot can be used to isolate the ankle and prevent movement that would cause further damage. 

After the initial healing process is complete, it is very important to work with your foot doctor and develop a plan to gradually increase the strength in your foot muscles and to improve the flexibility of the ligaments and tendons. A poorly treated ankle sprain is more likely to be injured again in the future, so it is important to seek early, professional treatment.

If you are experiencing ankle pain, we highly recommend that you consult our board certified podiatrists Andrew Shapiro, DPM and Michael Barkin, DPM. With access to advanced technologies, along with years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, we can assist you with heel pain, ankle sprains, diabetic foot care, toe deformities, nail fungus, skin problems, and many other conditions. Our practice is conveniently located on West Merrick Road in Valley Stream to accommodate all of your foot care needs. Call (516) 825-3860 or book an appointment online today!