How to Heal an Ankle Sprain

There is nothing quite as painful as rolling your ankle badly during a sport or unexpectedly when hill walking. In most cases, these ankle sprains heal naturally in a few weeks – in rare cases, they require surgery – but it’s still best to follow some of the best practices to speed the healing.

Read this blog for some further information on how to heal an ankle sprain.

Self Care

Whether it’s during a sport or in your everyday life, suffering an ankle sprain is no fun. Depending on the severity, an ankle sprain is one of the most painful injuries you can sustain, and it’s important to know how to look after it initially to help it to heal in the best possible way.

First, you need to place ice on the affected area after a sprain. Blood will rush to the area to protect it and begin the healing process, but ice can prevent long-term swelling and speed recovery. Compression, elevation, and rest are also important self-care strategies early on. 


As mentioned, rolling an ankle while playing a sport or walking is an extremely painful experience that can take weeks to heal from. Seeking advice from a qualified medical professional can be helpful in understanding the available medication options if a sprained ankle is causing severe discomfort.


Depending on the severity of your ankle sprain, you might have to wear a brace or use crutches. Ankle sprains can take anywhere between two and twelve weeks to fully heal, and if the sprain is bad, then you might have to use crutches for some of that time. Talk to a medical professional.

Ankle sprains can be very taxing to walk on. While there might be no fractures or broken bones in the ankle, ligament damage and torn muscles are quite common, to help you get around and to heal the injury more quickly, you might need to wear a brace, elastic bandage, or a cast. 


The body reacts quickly to a severe ankle strain and sends blood to the area to prevent further movement and begin the healing process. The downside is the long-term swelling and the lack of movement, which causes some issues when the swelling goes down, and you need to walk.

At this time, therapy is necessary. Talk to your medical professional or your physiotherapist for details on the exercises and movements you need to practice to start building strength, flexibility, and range of movement. It’s important to engage in a progression of exercises.


Surgery is rare, but it does occur in severe cases. If the ligaments in your ankle are severely damaged, and you are suffering long-term consequences, your medical professional might advise surgery to repair some of the ligaments or to reconstruct the tendons.

Get in Touch

At Essex Physiotherapy Clinic we offer a wide range of therapies and treatments for musculoskeletal issues. To book an appointment, get in touch with our team today by calling 01245 325 037 or emailing info@essexphysio.co.uk.

Don’t shoulder the burden alone.

Contact our team of experienced physiotherapists today.