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Sprained Ankles

A sprained ankle is an injury that occurs when the ligaments in the ankle are stretched or torn. This leads to pain, swelling, bruising and difficulty bearing weight on the affected ankle.

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Sprained Ankle Treatments

When your injury isn’t an emergency but still needs fast treatment, WellNow Urgent Care is nearby to help. Our urgent care centers are equipped to diagnose and treat a variety of injuries, including sprained ankles.
Your visit may include a medical examination, X-rays or other imaging tests, immobilization (such as splints or elastic bandages), symptom management, personalized recovery plans, specialist referrals and follow-up care.

Your Sprained Ankle Recovery Plan May Include:

Initial rest: Your provider may advise resting your ankle for the first 1-2 days after your injury to prevent further damage. During this time, you should try to avoid walking or putting weight on your ankle.

Walking supports: Depending on the severity of the sprain, you may need to use crutches or a brace to support the ankle for a period of time.

Ankle exercises: After 2-3 days of rest, you may be advised to start strengthening and flexing your ankle. Your healthcare provider can show you exercises that will aid your recovery.

Gradual return to activity: Once the pain and swelling begin to improve, your provider may advise you to gradually start putting weight on the injured ankle and walking short distances.

If you're unsure about whether it's safe to walk on your sprained ankle, it's best to consult a healthcare professional for evaluation and guidance.

“Often with soft tissue injuries like sprains, there is no one-size-fits-all recovery timeline,” says Dr. Robert Biernbaum, Chief MedicalOfficer for WellNow Urgent Care. “We believe that personalized recovery plans are crucial. You want to rest at the right time and exercise at the right time to promote a full recovery.”

Sprained Ankle FAQs

When a sudden movement or change in direction puts stress on the ankle, a sprain can occur. This can happen during many different sports and exercises, or through accidents such as tripping, falling or twisting your ankle.

You may suspect that you have a sprained ankle if you have the following symptoms:
Pain: With a sprained ankle, pain usually happens immediately. The pain may range from mild to severe and will feel worse when you put weight on the ankle.
Swelling: Swelling around the ankle is common after a sprain.
Bruising: Discoloration may develop around the ankle area due to bleeding under the skin.
Difficulty Walking: Walking or bearing weight on the affected ankle may be difficult due to instability, pain, or a restricted range of motion.
Tenderness: The ankle may be tender to the touch, especially around the injured ligaments.
Stiffness: There may be stiffness in the ankle, particularly during movements such as bending or rotating the foot.

Severe symptoms can indicate that you have extensive ligament damage, or that you have broken bones. If you suspect a strain, sprain or bone injury, a visit to a healthcare provider is recommended.

A sprained ankle can take anywhere from a week to several months to heal, depending on the severity. To learn more about the different types of sprains and their recovery times, visit Harvard Health.

For the first 1-2 days after spraining your ankle, follow the acronym RICE:
Rest: Avoid putting weight on your ankle.

Ice: Apply cold to the ankle for 15-20 minutes at a time.

Compression: Use an elasticized wrap to compress your ankle and reduce swelling.

Elevation: Keep your ankle raised whenever possible, ideally to the height of your hip or higher.

Whether you should walk on a sprained ankle depends on the specifics of your injury.

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When should you visit urgent care for sprained ankle treatment?

For ankle injuries, appropriate treatment is the key to a fast recovery. For everything from diagnosis to follow-up care, visit an urgent care center promptly for the best results. Check in online or walk in to a WellNow location nearest you.

This medical information has been reviewed for accuracy by Dr. Robert Biernbaum, Chief Medical Officer for WellNow Urgent Care.

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Injuries We Treat

WellNow Urgent Care can help when you or a family member is hurt. Our dedicated medical team will provide prompt, comprehensive and compassionate care to help you get better, faster.

This list contains are most frequently treated injuries. If you are experiencing pain from an injury not listed or are unsure of the source of your discomfort, visit a WellNow Urgent Care clinic near you or start a virtual care session.

A - E

Abrasions (Scrapes)
Abscesses and Cysts
Animal Bites
Back Pain
Cuts and Lacerations
Eye Complaints