How to Roll Your Ankle

Rolling your ankle can decrease your participation in the activities you enjoy the most.
Rolling your ankle can decrease your participation in the activities you enjoy the most. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Rolling your ankle will often result in an ankle sprain. An ankle sprain occurs when you move your ankle outside of its normal range of motion. This stretches the ligaments resulting in pain, swelling, limited range of motion and difficulty bearing weight. Ankle sprains are a common injury that occurs in athletes, those who exercise and during the participation of everyday activities. Ankle sprains are painful, and it is not recommended that you purposely attempt to roll your ankle.

Participate in contact sports. Soccer, football, basketball and hockey are high-impact sports with plenty of stopping, starting, running, blocking and sudden changes in direction. The fancy footwork of these sports and direct collisions can lead to rolled ankles.

Wear shoes not suited for exercise. While exercising, you should be wearing properly fitted walking or running shoes. Wearing shoes that are ill-fitted or inappropriate for exercise -- such as high-heeled shoes or sandals -- can lead to rolled ankles.

Walk or run on uneven surfaces. Cracked pavement can lead to your rolling or twisting your ankle while going for a jog, walk or run.

Exercise barefoot. Failure to support your foot and ankle while working out can lead to a rolled ankle.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never roll your ankle on purpose. Spraining an ankle can lead to a host of problems -- including chronic ankle pain and instability. If you do sprain an ankle, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends allowing four to six weeks for proper healing and the prevention of long-term problems.

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