Quick Answer: What Happens If A Sprain Is Left Untreated?

Can a sprain last for years?

A second clinical problem seen long after the initial ankle sprain is chronic stiffness.

Months, and even years after the injury, it is common to see a loss of ankle dorsiflexion..

What helps ligaments heal faster?

Injured ligaments heal faster when treated in a way to promote good blood flow. This includes short-term use of icing, heat, proper movement, increased hydration, and several sports medicine technologies like NormaTec Recovery and the Graston technique.

Is bruising a good sign with a sprained ankle?

Some of the fibres of the ligament will then tear. A damaged ankle ligament causes inflammation, swelling, and bleeding (which shows as bruising) around the affected joint.

Do you put heat or ice on a sprained ankle?

For most injuries, ice is recommended during the first 24 to 48 hours. This helps reduce the pain and swelling that are part of the inflammatory stage of healing. You can switch to heat when the ankle swelling goes away. The area should not be red or hot to the touch.

How long does it take for a bad sprain to heal?

After 2 weeks, most sprains and strains will feel better. Avoid strenuous exercise such as running for up to 8 weeks, as there’s a risk of further damage. Severe sprains and strains can take months to get back to normal.

When should you go to the doctor for a sprain?

People with a more severe ankle sprain — characterized by extreme bruising or swelling and an inability to bear weight on the foot without significant pain, or when there doesn’t seem to be any improvement over the first several days after the injury — should seek medical attention, Drs. SooHoo and Williams say.

Which is worse sprain or strain?

Strain vs Sprain, which is worse? One is not technically worse than the other. Strains affect the tendons (an easy way to remember this is sTrains = tendons or muscles), and sprains affect the ligaments. Both tendons and ligaments are connective tissues, and both are measured by severity.

Is hot water good for sprained ankle?

Give your injured ankle a few days to recover after the initial injury. When the swelling goes down, you may want to warm your ankle before rehabilitation by soaking it in warm water. Warm tissues are more flexible, and less prone to injury.

Is it OK to walk on a sprained ankle?

Walking on a sprained ankle is not advised. After a sprain occurs, it needs time to heal before weight-bearing. Walking or weight bearing too soon may slow healing or cause further damage.

What happens if you leave a sprain untreated?

A sprained ankle can turn into a serious chronic instability if left untreated. When you leave torn ligaments to heal on their own, they can fuse together haphazardly and form weak, inflexible scar tissue. Your range of motion can suffer tremendously, resulting in difficulty walking for the long term.

Should you massage sprains?

Massage can help ease pain while promoting blood flow to the sprained area. If the injury is particularly severe or painful, a person should seek advice from a qualified massage therapist. For less severe injuries, a person can try gentle massage at home.

What do hospitals do for sprained ankles?

You can easily remember first aid measures for sprained ankles with the acronym RICE, which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Stay off of your ankle and keep it elevated.

How do I know if my sprained ankle is serious?

You may have a broken ankle, and you should contact your doctor right away, if you notice any of the following symptoms:You have severe pain or pain that gets worse over time.You can’t put any weight on the injured ankle.You have trouble moving the injured ankle.If you heard a popping noise at the time of the injury.More items…•

How do you know if a sprain is serious?

“A torn ligament is considered a severe sprain that will cause pain, inflammation, bruising and result in ankle instability, often making it difficult and painful to walk. Recovery from a torn ligament may take several weeks, and should be done under the supervision of a health-care provider,” he explained.

Should I go to ER for sprained ankle?

Go to the emergency room if: there is immediate bruising on the foot, significant deformity, or you are unable to walk or put any pressure on the affected ankle as it could be a fracture or broken bone.

How do you tell the difference between a sprain and a tear?

A sprain is a stretch or tear in a ligament. Ligaments are bands of fibrous tissue that connect bones to bones at joints. A strain is also a stretch or tear, but it happens in a muscle or a tendon. Tendons link muscles to the bones.

What helps a bad sprain?

TreatmentRest. Avoid activities that cause pain, swelling or discomfort.Ice. Use an ice pack or ice slush bath immediately for 15 to 20 minutes and repeat every two to three hours while you’re awake. … Compression. To help stop swelling, compress the ankle with an elastic bandage until the swelling stops. … Elevation.

What injury takes the longest to heal?

Bone fractures and minor muscle injuries: these typically heal a lot faster, from weeks to months. Tendon or ligament: these take longer, from months to a year.

How long does a sprain hurt?

Most ankle sprains heal with no problems. You should feel much better after 2 weeks. Up to a third of people still have some pain after a year. Once the swelling has gone down and you can walk without pain, you can probably start exercises to build flexibility and strength.

How long should you stay off a sprained ankle?

Immediate ankle sprain treatment This usually means adopting the classic RICE regimen — rest, ice, compression, and elevation. If you have severe pain and swelling, rest your ankle as much as possible for the first 24–48 hours.

Do sprains ever fully heal?

Mild, low-grade ankle sprains will usually heal in one to three weeks with proper rest and care. Moderate injuries may take between three and four weeks. Because of limited blood flow to the ligaments of the ankle, more severe ankle injuries may take between three and six months to heal.