No matter how severe the sprain, by its very nature an ankle sprain is both sudden and painful. The specific symptoms you’ll experience with an ankle sprain depend upon the severity of the sprain.
Common symptoms of a sprained ankle include:
- sudden, sharp pain in the ankle during exercise and potentially accompanied by a “popping” feeling or tearing sound.
- swelling and tenderness
- bruising in the ankle, heel, or foot (indicates blood vessels have been broken)
- increased pain when applying pressure to the ankle, either manually or by walking, standing, or running
- pain when twisting your ankle, especially when moved inwardly
There are numerous possible causes of an ankle sprain, however, let’s take a look at some of the most common causes:
- sudden and/or abrupt twisting of the ankle, especially in a sideways direction
- impact from falling and/or traumatic collision with the ankle
- activities on uneven surfaces
- awkward steps, landing, jumping, or striking with the feet
- inversion – having your ankle roll over while stopping and starting or moving side-to-side in activities
Additionally, you are at risk for a sprained ankle if you have poor coordination or balance, not enough strength in your surrounding muscles, overly tight ligaments, or loose joints, or when you overexert yourself, especially in any of the sports indicated above.