Treating Your Ankle Sprain

Has your sprained ankle prevented you from doing the things you need to do? Your Burlington, VT, podiatrist, Dr. Michael Guerra, offers treatments that decrease pain and improve your mobility.

How sprains affect your ankle

Sprains tend to occur if you suddenly roll or twist your ankle. The injury can occur if you land awkwardly after a jump, step off the curb prematurely or trip over an obstacle. The unexpected movement strains or tears the ligaments that connect the bones in your ankle joint.

After a sprain, you may experience swelling and bruising. Depending on the severity of the sprain, it may be difficult to walk or even put the slightest pressure on your ankle.

Treating a sprained ankle


Mild sprains often improve in a just few days. Following the RICE method (rest, ice, compression and elevation) can help reduce your pain and decrease swelling and inflammation. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication can also be helpful.

Call your Burlington, VT, foot doctor when:

  • Your symptoms don't improve after a week or two.
  • Your pain worsens or is severe.
  • Walking and standing are difficult or impossible.
  • Your ankle is unstable or feels numb.

Depending on the severity of your injury, your podiatrist may recommend a walking boot or crutches. Using these aids reduces pressure on your ankle, allowing it to heal.

Exercise is an important part of your recovery and helps restore ankle function and normal range of motion. Your podiatrist may recommend a few exercises to stretch and strengthen your ankle joint and improve your balance. Initially, you'll perform exercises while you're seated. As your ankle heals, you'll be able to handle standing exercises. You might also be referred to a physical therapist for treatment.

Whether you exercise on your own or see a physical therapist, it's important to perform your exercises every day. Exercising not only strengthens the muscles that support your ankle but may help you avoid another sprain.

Most people recover from sprained ankles without surgery, but it may be needed if other treatments aren't helpful or if your ankle is unstable.

Has home treatment failed to help your sprained ankle? Call your podiatrist in Burlington, VT, Dr. Guerra, at (802) 862-8666 to schedule an appointment.