Twisted Ankle First Aid Care

Twisted Ankle First Aid Care:

Learn how to take care of a twisted ankle that is keeping your from running and exercising!



 What Is A Twisted Ankle?

It can occur when your foot turns inward and the ligaments and muscles on the outside of your foot are injured.

  • Most common ankle injury.
  • Can take days to months to heal depending on severity.
  • Can cause ankle instability during standing & athletics.
  • Can be treated much faster with immediate first aid treatment.


Symptoms Of A Twisted Ankle:

Initially inflammation will occur in the area. This will lead to vessels leaking fluid & white blood cells into the area. The ankle will swell in about 20-30 minutes.

  • Ankle Pain, mostly on the outside.
  • Swelling, warmth & redness.
  • Increase in fluid.
  • Decrease in joint mobility.


Twisted Ankle First Aid Care:


1) Grade 1 Sprain: Stretching of the ligaments.

Twisted Ankle First Aid Care
A grade 1 sprain is just stretching of your ligaments. A podiatrist visit is usually not needed.

This is a very mild sprain that should only take 3-5 days or up to 2-3 weeks to get better.

  • The difference in time has to do with how you treat the twisted ankle.
  • If there is initial first aid within minutes to hours, the healing time can greatly decrease.


Recovery Time: 3 days – 2 weeks!

  • Improve this but using with rest, ice, compression & elevation!


Grade 1 Treatment:

A) Ice The Ankle:

Twisted Ankle First Aid Care
It does not have to be an ice bath, but put ice on it as soon as possible.
  • This is most beneficial directly after the injury.
  • Icing 2-3x per day for about 15-20 minutes will decrease the flow of inflammatory cells into the muscle.
  • Afterwards the arteries will vasodilate further flushing out inflammatory cells from the region.
  • Ice has deeper penetrating power than heat.
  • Do not use heat immediately after the injury!



  • If possible elevate your leg while watching TV.
  • This will prevent as many inflammatory cells from reaching your ankle.
  • It will also drastically decrease the swelling.



Twisted Ankle First Aid Care
Compression allows better blood flow by preventing as much swelling. Compress the site & ice over top the bandage!
  • It will increase the back flow of venous blood and help flush out inflammatory cells.
  • Use an ACE bandage or any other type of compression wrap.
  • It should not be so tight that it cuts off blood flow!
  • Use ice over top.


D)Topical anti-inflammatories or analgesics:

Twisted Ankle First Aid Care
Topical anti-inflammatory gels work very well in helping to decrease inflammation!
  • There are anti-inflammatory creams that can be prescribed by your podiatrist that can decrease the inflammation and speed up your healing time.
  • Capsaicin & Voltaren gel works great.
  • Biofreeze or anything with menthol in it.


E)Oral NSAIDs:

Twisted Ankle First Aid Care
Anti-inflammatory medication can really jump start the healing process. Use it for a 1-2 weeks until the inflammation decreases & your body can start healing.
  • These include Ibuprofen & Aspirin.
  • This can be over the counter or prescription.
  • Do not take these unless instructed to do so by your physician or podiatrist.
  • Take a 1-2 week course to attempt to decrease the inflammation and speed up your healing time.
  • Take 2-3x doses per day as instructed, this builds up anti-inflammatory enzyme levels in your system.
  • Taking just 1-2 pills and then stopping does nothing for inflammation!




2) Grade 2 Sprain: Partially Torn Ligaments.

Twisted Ankle First Aid Care
In a Grade 2 Sprain, there is usually swelling & pain visible. This is a partial rupture of the ligaments & may need longer treatment.

This is when one or more of the lateral ankle ligaments have been damaged. This will take a minimum of 2-4 weeks to heal & could take even longer.

  • This means that either the anterior talofibular ligament or the calcaneofibular ligament are partially torn.
  • If these types of sprains are not treated properly, they may lead to chronic ankle instability.
  • Athletes with chronic ankle instability will likely need braces & physical therapy in the future.
  • It is even possible to start developing ankle arthritis & ankle spurs within a decade or so chronic ankle instability.

Recovery Time: 2-4 weeks Minimum!

  • Improve this but using with rest, ice, compression & elevation initially.
  • Time off until it heals is usually necessary.
  • Accommodation braces may be necessary early on until healing.


Grade 2 Treatment:


A) Perform All Of The Stage 1 Treatments.

Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation & Anti-Inflammation.


B) Brace The Ankle:

Twisted Ankle First Aid Care
A brace may be needed for the ankle long term if there is instability after 2-3 weeks. It will protect your ankle against re-injury.
  • There are many great braces available.
  • This will protect your ankle as it is healing the final few weeks.


C) Physical Therapy:

Twisted Ankle First Aid Care
Physical therapy will get your foot stability back on track. Otherwise you may suffer from years of chronic instability.
  • If your ankle is still sore after 2-3 months, this may be necessary.
  • This will help increase your proprioception & muscle strength.


D) Consider seeing a podiatrist:

X-rays & MRIs may be necessary in case this is a more dramatic injury.



3) Grade 3 Sprain: Partially Torn Ligaments.

Twisted Ankle First Aid Care
A grade 3 sprain is very severe & will likely need a podiatrist visit. There is a high incident of cartilage injury & ruptured ligaments.

This is a complete tear of the ankle ligaments with possible dislocation of the ankle.

  • This type of ankle injury will take many months to heal.
  • It is likely to have an osteochondral defect: this means cartilage damage.
  • Other foot and ankle tendons or ligaments may also be damaged.
  • It may be necessary to check for compartment syndrome.

Recovery Time: 2-3 Months+ !

  • This type of ankle sprain will require a visit to your podiatrist for evaluation.
  • Depending on the situation or the damage, you may need surgery to avoid future damage.


A) Perform All Of The Stage 1 & 2 Treatments.

Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, Anti-Inflammation, Bracing & Physicial Therapy.


B) See A Podiatrist:

Twisted Ankle First Aid Care
An MRI may be necessary to detect bone contusion, ligament ruptures or even cartilage damage.

With how severe this injury is. MRI & X-rays will definitely be needed.