Why You Shouldn't Play Through a Sprained Ankle

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 Why You Shouldn't Play Through a Sprained Ankle

Why You Shouldn't Play Through a Sprained Ankle

Sprained ankles are common, whether you’re an elite athlete, weekend warrior, or couch-bound spectator. Any motion, stumble, or awkward step that rotates a foot to its outer edge can stretch or tear ankle ligaments beyond their capabilities. 

Ankle sprains range from minor to severe, taking from a few days to weeks or months to recover. Since you need your ankles every day for mobility, it’s often hard to get the rest you require for complete healing. If you’re tempted to hurry back to a sport you love, your risk of further injury skyrockets. 

Visit the team at the nearest location of Hudson Valley Foot Associates no matter how minor your sprain seems to be. As sprained ankle specialists, we can evaluate the extent of your injury as well as plot a recovery plan that keeps you safe now and in the future.  

Dealing with a sprained ankle

Rolling over the outside of a foot overextends the outer ligaments of the ankle. A sprain can cause stretching or tearing of these ligaments, depending on the severity of the injury. When a sprain occurs, you’ll experience symptoms like: 

  • Sharp, sudden pain at the time of the injury
  • Difficulty or inability to bear weight on the affected ankle
  • Lingering pain at the site of the injury
  • Bruising or swelling of the ankle
  • Limited mobility of the ankle joint

Your initial reaction to the sprain gets you off your feet. In addition to resting, use an ice pack to reduce swelling. A snug elastic bandage can help with swelling too, while adding some stability to the joint. 

Elevate your injured foot above the level of your heart to encourage fluid drainage, another way to limit inflammation and swelling. Use over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen or naproxen to manage pain. Topical analgesic creams may help too. 

This may be all you need to treat a mild sprain. Within a few days, your ankle will feel normal and you’ll have no problem getting through normal daily activities. You may, however, still be at risk in more strenuous conditions. 

Reasons why you shouldn’t play through a sprained ankle

The stretching of ligaments causes injuries called micro tears to their fibers, even if the ligament itself is not completely torn. These micro tears may take longer to heal than your pain symptoms, if your sprain is minor. 


Tendons may remain vulnerable to reinjury if you attempt to return to vigorous activity, such as playing your favorite sport. To protect yourself, it’s wise to have your ankle checked by one of our doctors before returning to the game. 

In the case of moderate to severe sprains, pain and ankle instability may last longer than a few days. Schedule an appointment with us if home care produces no improvement or if your symptoms are still pronounced after four days. It’s easy to mistake an ankle fracture for a sprain. 

With seven locations through the Hudson Valley in New York, we’re sure to have a convenient office for you to visit. The team at Hudson Valley Foot Associates can ease your return to the game. Book online or call your preferred location to arrange your exam and evaluation today.