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Pain Management Health Center

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Ankle Sprain

When Will I Feel Better After an Ankle Sprain?

How quickly your ankle sprain heals depends on how severe your injury is. Many people recover in four to six weeks. But that’s just a rough estimate. People heal at different rates. Your age and general health may affect the pace of your recovery.

Whatever you do, don’t rush things. Don’t try to return to your old level of physical activity until

  • You can move your ankle as freely as your uninjured ankle
  • Your ankle feels as strong as your uninjured ankle
  • You feel no pain in your ankle when you walk, jog, sprint, or jump

If you start pushing yourself before your ankle is healed, you can re-injure the ankle and even develop permanent pain and disability.

How Can I Prevent an Ankle Sprain?

Here are some tips for preventing ankle sprains:

  • Stretch before physical activity after light warm-up exercises.
  • Wear shoes with good support that fit well.
  • Stop exercising when you feel pain in the ankle.
  • Be especially careful when walking or running on uneven surfaces or doing activities that require jumping.

If you have had an ankle sprain before, you are at higher risk for getting another. So think about taking extra precautions when exercising, like taping up your ankle or using a brace.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on July 31, 2014
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