Muscle Sprains

A common sporting injury is a sprained ankle, usually on the outside (lateral side) of the ankle. The degree of injury is often divided into the following three categories.

First Degree

A first degree sprain is just a small tear or overstretching of the ligament. There will be only a small amount of joint instability, or none at all. There will be only a little swelling and mild pain.

Second Degree

A second degree sprain usually results in some tearing of the ligament fibers, resulting in some instability of the joint and moderate to sever pain. The ankle will be stiff and there will be some swelling.

Third Degree

David and GoliathA third degree sprain describes a total rupture of the ligament. The joint will consequently be unstable, and there will be sever pain and swelling.


The treatment of choice for all sprains should be RICE (see page on RICE). The ankle is usually taped and all weight taken off the foot. Rehabilitation is required to speed up recovery and maximize future strength and stability.

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The above information is presented as a general guide. The author and publisher take no responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, action or application of medication based on this information. See more: Disclaimer.