If you want to learn that how long does a sprained ankle take to heal you must understand sprained ankle first. The joint of your ankle connects with your foot and your lower leg. Three ligaments keep your ankle bones from shifting out of place. When one of these ligaments is torn or stretched too far then the ankle becomes sprained ankle.

Ankle injuries are very common. A sprained ankle is painful. Especially if they distract you from physical activity.

According to the research of the United States in 2019 showed that every year about 2 million people have acute ankle sprains. It means it is the most usual injury all around the world 

How Long Does a Sprained Ankle Take to Heal?

Now when we talk about the time that how long does a sprained ankle takes to heal, we consider that usually, it takes 3 to 4 weeks to treat a successfully sprained ankle. If you have a severe injury then ankle sprain recovery time must be exceeded to 3-6 months. Firstly, you have to find the right treatment for a sprained ankle.

You will become happy to hear that you can heal your sprained ankle and get back to your normal life. Three proper things are required for this.

  • Diagnosis
  • Rest
  • Rehabilitation

Sprained Ankle Causes

A ligament can be hurt when anything stretched your ankle more than its use. Usually, this happens when your foot is twisted or turned inward wrongly. Following are some examples: 

  • When you place your foot the wrong way while running, stepping up or down. Or when you are doing everyday things like getting in or out of bed
  • When you Step on an uneven surface, like a messed-up road. 
  • If you Step on someone else while playing. (For example, your foot might roll when you’re playing cricket or basketball, go up for a rebound, and come down on top of another player’s foot.)

Types of Ankle Sprains

If your doctor told you that you have sprained ankle, you’re probably thinking about that how severe your ankle sprain is. And what you have to do now.  As you know your ankle sprain involves one or more than one ligament which is connected to your leg bones and foot’s bones. The ligaments of your ankle move out of place when you stretch your ankle harder or in the wrong way. 

Generally, when you have a more severe sprain you need more time to recover it Said physical therapist Eric Sampsell. According to Sampsell, sprained ankles have different grades and ranks from mild to severe. Following are the different grades of sprained ankles

 Grade 1

  • Mild: A first-degree sprain is a mild tear. Your ankle feels still stable. When the ligaments are stretched but not torn. You may feel some pain and inflexibility.

 Grade 2

  • Moderate: A little more severe is a second-degree sprain. It involves 50 percent of ligament tearing. In this grade the joint isn’t stable, so you can’t move it as much as usual. One or more ligaments are partially torn and You have moderate pain and swelling.

Grade 3 

  • Severe: A third-degree sprain is a complete tear, One or more ligaments are fully torn, then your ankle will be unstable. You will have severe pain and can’t move it.

Ankle sprain recovery time 

  • Grade 1 ankle sprain recovery time grade 1 is mild. It requires 3 to 5 weeks for healing. 
  • Grade 2 ankle sprain recovery time is moderate. It requires 4 to 6 weeks for healing
  • Grade 3 ankle sprain recovery time is a severe grade of an ankle sprain. It requires 3 to 6 months. It is the longest recovery time for a sprained ankle. 

Sprained Ankle Symptoms

Following are some symptoms of a sprained ankle

  • Swelling and bruising: Your sprained ankle can be so swollen that if you press on the area with your finger and leave an indent.
  • Pain: Your nerves become more sensitive after a sprain. The joint hurts and you feel pain. It can be worse when you press your ankle or move your foot in different ways. It will also hurt when you walk or stand. 
  • Redness and warmth: You will see redness in that area because a sprain causes more blood to flow. 
  • Instability: The joint can feel weak and you feel instability. 
  • Trouble walking: There will be trouble for you in walking. A sprain may limit how much you can move your ankle. 

Sprained Ankle Treatment

Home treatment

For home treatment, Doctors recommend the formula of RICE:

  • Rest: when you take rest it prevents you from hurting the ankle again and again or putting stress on inflamed tissue. A brace or splint can take pressure off the joint.
  • Ice: Icing your sprained ankle is probably the best treatment. Put it on your ankle to lower blood flow and it helps you to decrease swelling, redness, and warmth. If you do it quickly after an injury, it can prevent inflammation
  • Compression can keep down swelling. You can use an elastic bandage or can wrap it until the swelling goes away. Do not wrap so tightly that you cut off the flow of blood
  • Elevation: When you keep the injured area up as high as possible it will help your body absorb extra fluid.

Speed up recovery for a sprained ankle:

 Here are some useful tips for speed up recovery for a sprained ankle: 

  • Heat: Heat can increase the flow of blood in the injured area at-home treatment. When the swelling has gone, it can sometimes be helpful to heal the injured area. It will help to ease the pain, tension, and tight muscles. 
  • Physical Therapy: During recovery, It is beneficial to stretch muscles by doing gentle exercise because it will help the muscle to stay strong.
  • A weekly visit to a physical therapist is good for the recovery of a sprained ankle. Always be careful not to overextend the movements of the ankle you are using.
  • Walking: Walking can promote healing for a sprained ankle. You should take a rest for the first few days and no need to walk in starting. But when the swellings start to decreasing, it means the healing process is started.
  • That is the time for you to start a walk. Cover the short distance is good for tour recovery. Start tour walk slowly and gently to build up your distance.  

Medical treatment

If you have a severe ankle sprain and you are not getting better with home treatment after a week. It means you need to consult with a doctor. A doctor will guide you better for the recovery of your ankle They might give you a cast or a brace to hold your ankle still.

You have to follow up appointment 1 or 2 weeks to make sure you are healing well also learn whether you need physical therapy for flexibility or not. There is usually no need for surgery if you have a Mild and moderate sprain.

If you have a severely sprained ankle and you are in sports, there is a higher risk that you sprain again.