Sprains and strains are the most common sports injuries. More specifically, ankle sprains occur more frequently than any sports injury, according to WebMD, ahead of groin pulls, hamstring strains, shin splints, and ACL tears in the knee.
In the simplest of terms, an ankle sprain is caused by a stretching or tearing of the ankle ligaments. Ankle sprains typically occur after the ankle is twisted, or the foot rolls underneath the ankle.
Although ankle sprains are the most common sports injury, you don’t have to dunk a basketball, catch a touchdown pass, or hit a 300-yard drive to get hurt. In fact, people who don’t get enough exercise and sit around all day are very susceptible to ankle sprains because the ankle hasn’t been conditioned to handle activity.
If you think you’ve sprained your ankle, contact your doctor right away and proceed with the RICE protocol – rest, ice, compression and elevation – to reduce inflammation.