How Long After Ankle Sprain Can I Run (And Why)?

Exact Answer: After about 2-6 weeks

An ankle sprain is nothing but an injury around the ankle that happens due to sudden or accidental inversion (inward twist or roll) of the foot. This is a very common injury found during fall during running or walking while talking and unknowingly foot roll inwards. Due to this ankle injury happens. However, these injuries are common in our day to day life. In some cases, sportsperson may experience more severe injuries.

This injury stretches or tears bands of tissue and ligaments .usually this is self-treatable and self diagnosable .pain and swelling with limited range ankle motion is found at the ankle joint.

How Long After Ankle Sprain Can I Run?

Type Time
Minor Sprains2 weeks
Major Sprains6 weeks

An ankle sprain is very common nowadays, although this is not a very critical injury the recovery period varies from the severity of the injury and it needs time to heal. A sprained ankle may need 2-6 weeks of rest as per the seriousness of the injury. Mild to moderate injury or sprain can be treated at home using ice packs and taking a period of rest.

But if the pain goes severe and swelling at the region of pain is not treatable with a normal ice pack then medical evaluation is needed. A mild to moderate sprain may take about 10 days to normalised while the severe case needs a time of 4 -6 weeks to recover and heal. Patients with an ankle sprain can find swelling, tenderness, stiffness, bruising, pain, skin discolouration and inability to put pressure on the affected ankle.

The ankle can sustain many injuries like a fracture, or severe ligament injury so u must consult a doctor who can diagnose properly and can conclude whether the injury is a sprain or something more serious than a sprain. So that u can get a proper treatment plan.

The patients having a severe tear in the ligaments or have joint instability non-surgical treatment is not enough to cure that to fix that, surgical treatment is needed. The surgical options include Arthroscopy or reconstruction can fix the problem. Arthroscopy is a surgery during which the loose fragments of bone and ligaments are managed by the surgeon. This doesn’t mean that all sprains need an operation, most of the sprain cases can be cured with none operative methods or simply by home remedies and personal care.

Why Should I Wait So Long To Run After Ankle Sprain?

A doctor will do some physical examinations. The joint range of motion will be checked and if any shot of fracture is suspected then the doctor will advise going for an x-ray or an MRI. By doing an X-ray the fractured bone can be recognised. In the MRI process, strong magnetic field and radio waves are used to have detailed images of the body.

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If u get a mild sprain with not very severe swelling then it can be cured at home itself. All we need is rest and a regular ice pack 4-5 times a day. The first day of sprain will show much pain so an ice pack should be applied 6-7 times a day. The home care includes an elastic bandage around the ankle or an ankle brace that should not be applied too tightly, a pillow under the foot so that the foot can rest in an elevated position that can reduce the swelling.

For a mild sprain, the recovery may need 10-14 days, while the patients with severe sprain may take several weeks to heal. The doctors always advise not to put any weight at the injured site that requires proper rest. Failing to treat a sprained ankle or engaging the affected ankle in weight-bearing too soon after the sprain can cause many complications such as chronic ankle pain.

Chronic ankle pain is that condition when u will repeatedly feel pain and instability during walking or putting any weight on the ankle even after the sprain is treated. Such conditions take a longer time for healing and may be painful. However, painkillers may be of help in such cases.

Conclusion

An ankle sprain is not that dangerous injury that you will afraid of, it can be treated. It may take some days or some weeks but it can be treated properly. Although the pain and swelling go away after treatment still some instability may be found. So this can be lessened by doing some strengthening exercise, but this should be practised with the proper consultation of any Physiotherapist or a Doctor.

To prevent future sprains wrapping the affected ankle with elastic bandages can be considered. If u get a sprain once again on the same ankle then consult your doctor to reduce the risk of instability and damage.

Reference

  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0363546516628870
  2. https://academic.oup.com/ptj/article-abstract/91/1/77/2735096

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