4 Signs of a Sprain

In Primary Care

Person Suffering from Ankle Pain

Sprains are a common injury that happen when one of your ligaments gets stretched or torn. It can happen from a fall or twisting a body part in the wrong way.

Ankles, wrists, and knees are some of the most common body parts to sprain, though they aren’t the only body parts that can be injured. Since sprains are so common, it is important to know the signs so you can recognize a sprain when it happens and treat it accordingly.

Here are four signs of a sprain:


After a sprain, the injured area will likely begin to swell right away and may continue to swell following the injury. The swelling takes place because your body is trying to heal after the injury by sending blood to the injured area.

Since swelling is a part of the healing process, it can continue even after you start to feel better and start to use the injured area again. This is due in part to fluid in the area from the blood flow of resuming your daily activities.

Pain and Difficulty Using the Injured Area

When you sprain something, pain is basically a given. The level of pain could depend on how bad the sprain is. For an example, an ankle sprain could cause your entire foot to be in pain. Sprains are categorized by grades based on the specifics of the injury.

A Grade I sprain means that your ligaments are stretched but not torn. A Grade II sprain means you have partially torn your ligaments. A Grade III sprain means that your ligament has fully torn.

Because of the pain associated with a sprain, you may not be able to use the injured area. A sprained ankle or knee can take some time before you can walk on it again. A sprained wrist may be difficult to use immediately following an injury.

It takes time to heal before you can fully use the injured area again, but sprains are not too difficult to treat.


After a sprain, you may see some bruising in the injured areas. If the ligament tears, there could be bleeding deep in the area. That bleeding could cause bruising.

It is important to keep in mind that bruising doesn’t always accompany a sprain, so even if there is no bruising, the area may still be sprained. That’s why you should consider all of the symptoms of a sprain.

A Pop During the Injury

If you fall down or accidentally twist a body part in the wrong way, listen for a pop. Sprains and strains can have similar symptoms and can happen in similar ways. However, sprains can sometimes produce a popping sound at the time of injury.

This doesn’t mean that if there is no pop, there is no sprain. Popping sounds may not happen every time, but it is still something to look out for.
The most important thing to keep in mind when you sprain something is to take care of yourself. Treat the injury from the start to help speed up the healing process.


Maria Del Rosario Gomez, MD

4726 Habana Ave Tampa, FL 33614
Primary Care
Moved by the desire to truly make a difference in peoples’ lives, Dr. Maria Del Rosario Gomez is a primary care physician with the Florida Primary Care Group.

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