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A sprained ankle is the most common injury to the foot or ankle. And a sprain can be serious. Running makes you susceptible to ankle sprains – and trail running especially so. The most important thing to remember about a sprained ankle is that it's not “just” a little sprain.
A sprained ankle is the result of an over-stretched or torn ligament. Tears are serious injuries and require medical attention. If there is significant swelling present, you're unable to walk on the affected joint, or if there is pain above the ankle or in the foot, see a doctor.
Self-treatment for ankle sprains should include an immediate cessation of training, and using “R.I.C.E.” – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation – for 24 to 48 hours. Work gently back into your training schedule to avoid aggravating the injury.