Can I Ignore My Ankle Sprain?

Blogs, / By Winsen Citra

Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries in the world. They can happen to anyone, and they can happen at any time. While some ankle sprains may not require medical attention, others can have serious consequences if left untreated.

What are ankle sprains?

An ankle sprain occurs when the ligaments that hold the ankle joint together are stretched or torn. This usually happens when the ankle is twisted, turned, or rolled in an awkward way. The severity of the sprain can vary from a mild stretch to a complete tear of the ligament.

What happens if I leave it alone?

When an ankle sprain is left untreated, several things can happen. Here are some of the possible consequences:

  1. Chronic ankle pain: One of the most common consequences of leaving an ankle sprain untreated is chronic ankle pain. This is because the ligaments that were stretched or torn during the sprain do not heal properly. The ankle joint may become unstable, and this can lead to ongoing pain and discomfort.
  2. Swelling and inflammation: Another common consequence of an untreated ankle sprain is swelling and inflammation. This occurs because the body sends extra blood to the injured area to try and heal the damaged tissues. The swelling can make it difficult to move the ankle, and it can also cause pain.
  3. Limited range of motion: If an ankle sprain is left untreated, it can also result in a limited range of motion. This is because the ligaments that hold the ankle joint together may not heal properly, and this can cause stiffness and limited mobility in the joint.
  4. Increased risk of re-injury: An untreated ankle sprain can also increase the risk of re-injury. This is because the ligaments that were damaged during the initial injury may be weaker than they were before. This can make the ankle more susceptible to further sprains and other injuries.
  5. Arthritis: In some cases, leaving an ankle sprain untreated can also lead to arthritis in the ankle joint. This is because the damage to the ligaments and other tissues can cause inflammation and damage to the joint over time. This can lead to ongoing pain, stiffness, and limited mobility in the ankle.

In conclusion, leaving an ankle sprain untreated can have serious consequences. If you have injured your ankle, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. With proper treatment, most ankle sprains will heal within a few weeks, and you can avoid the long-term complications associated with an untreated sprain.


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Winsen Citra
Principal Physiotherapist

Winsen graduated from University of Melbourne in 2012. He worked in organisations of various sizes such as Singapore General Hospital, Pain Relief Practice, and Physioclinic before working at Elevate Physiotherapy. He specialises in sports and musculoskeletal injuries and has worked with athletes of various sports such as fencing, dancing, dragon boating, and cycling.

In his spare time he enjoys singing and playing chess.