A twisted ankle, ankle sprain, inversion sprain or an ankle that rolls over are all terms for injuries to the human ankle. A sprain refers to the stretching and/or tearing of ligaments (as opposed to straining a muscle).
A sprain occurs following a sudden sideways or twisting movement of the foot. It can occur during intense athletic activity, such as running and jumping, or it can occur during any normal activity, such as stepping off a curb, walking on an uneven surface which causes an awkward step. 90% of ankle injuries usually occur on the outside (lateral side) of the ankle. Medial or inside ankle injuries occur in 10% of the cases. The following is regarding a lateral ankle sprain.
An ankle sprain results in pain, ecyhmosis (bruising), swelling and tenderness over the outside portion of the foot and ankle.
Mild ankle sprains can be treated with "RICE" (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation). These conditions are usually short duration and clear up in a few days.
Conservative measures include ice, wraps, ace bandages, and/or braces such as the Cho Pat Ankle Support, or Pneu Gel Ankle Support which can be used as "cold" therapy as well as support.
More serious ankle sprains are usually characterized by difficulty in walking after the injury and require medical treatment which includes x-rays to rule out a fracture to the foot or ankle. An MRI is another test used to determine soft tissue ligament damage.
Cast walkers such as the Cast Walking Boot are most beneficial in the treatment of severe sprains. If the ligament is ruptured, surgery is indicated. Pro-stretch Motion Enhancement System and foot massagers / spas are also available for therapy and arch and foot support for better stability of the ankle.