If you’ve ever sprained your ankle or hand, then you personally know that not every sprain is identical to others. Sprains typically get classified along three degrees or grades, contingent upon their severity.

These three categories range from the most severe, third-grade sprains to the least severe, known as first grade or first degree sprains.


The degree or grade of a sprain is usually an indication of how seriously the ligaments were due to your injury.

Ligaments Connect Bone To Bone.

Ligaments are typically strong and flexible fibers which keep bones together as one in a joint. They get incorrectly identified as tendons a lot of the time, which are actually the elastic tissue that connects muscles with bones. Sprains by their technical definition are injuries to a ligament or multiple ligaments.

The Various Possible Treatments For Sprains

Each of this trio of grades of sprains has distinct treatment needs. Soft tissue damage like this can often be misleading, however, so seeking medical attention for all sprains is recommended. That’s true even when you have a relatively small-scale sprain.

The RICE Method

The RICE method of sprain treatment is typically considered an efficient treatment both immediately and in the longer term. RICE is actually an acronym, standing for the process of Resting it, Icing it, Compressing it, and Elevating it. Each step is integral in treating all grades of sprains. The main purpose of RICE is stopping inflammation, preventing soreness and expediting recovery.

First Grade Or First Degree Sprains

Grade-one sprains are the first degree of seriousness in sprains. In such sprains, a ligament is usually stretched but not robustly injured. They’re likely going to be unpleasant to go through, but such kinds of sprains rarely result in long-term issues. RICE and prolonged rest typically mean grade-one sprains don’t need long to heal or mend.

First-degree sprains are very typical and common injuries. Any case where a joint is extended to excess, it’s likely to hurt. A rolled foot which makes you go around limping might be one example. Jammed fingers which are difficult to flex for several days might also be sprains.

Second Degree Sprains

Grade two sprains aren’t so much fun. They do typically recover completely. However, they are worse than grade one sprains, so they usually hurt more and take longer to fully heal or men. In grade two sprains, suspensory ligaments get extended to a point of ripping, but they only do so partially.

It’s usually difficult to identify just how much time a grade-two sprain will need for recovery. A general rule of thumb is that it takes two weeks minimum, and often, up to a month. Sprains do make ligaments weaker, so it’s a good idea to hold back on your routine activities until the joint fully recuperates. The early days after the injury is sustained can be taken care of using the RICE method. Physiotherapy can help you with recovery.

Grade Three Or Third Degree Sprains

This is the category that results in more substantial injuries. This degree of injury means that a ligament or multiple ligaments suffered a sizable rip or even total rupture. It’s common in such an injury for a damaged joint to be completely useless, as the pain of putting weight or pressure on it is just too much for a person to handle. Fortunately for most people, such injuries are more likely to happen to professional athletes in contact sports that everyday citizens.

Athletes that do suffer from third degree sprains might lose playing time while they recover.

It’s often critical to have a grade-three sprain repaired through surgery. Recovery time often lasts several months at a minimum, even with expert care. Prevention is always better than any treatment or cure, however, considering they can persist as a problem for quite some time.

If you think you have a sprain and you can safely come to ER Specialists, we would love to help you.  If you are alone or have any doubt about getting to our facility safely, or, believe you are experiencing a medical emergency please call 911. 

Ouch Happens!

  • meningitis Meningitis - Most of us have heard of meningitis, however, not all of us know enough about this potentially fatal condition. Let's take a simple, clear and concise look at meningitis, the common symptoms, how it is treated and why suspected meningitis should always be viewed as a medical emergency.
  • RSV RSV - When you are suffering from symptoms like nasal congestion, cough and fever, you might assume you are fighting the flu – especially during our pretty nasty flu season this year!  There are plenty of viruses that cause these symptoms, one of which is respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, which is Read More
  • high blood pressure High Blood Pressure - Let’s talk about the new blood pressure guidelines that the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association released recently concerning high blood pressure. These guidelines are recommendations for treating blood pressure that’s considered higher than normal.  This is the first time the guidelines have changed since 2003. They've Read More
  • Know About Headaches Things You Should Know About Headaches - There are there are probably hundreds of things that cause headaches. What we see typically at the Urgency Center are migraine headaches and sinus headaches. With that being said, there are a few things you should know about headaches if you have a headache on occasion. See A Doctor If You Read More
  • heart palpitations Heart Palpitations - What are Heart Palpitations? Heart palpitations are defined as an unpleasant awareness of a forceful, rapid, or irregular heartbeat. People who experience heart palpitations describe the feeling as if their heart is flip-flopping, fluttering, or forcefully beating. You can often feel the sensation in your chest, throat, or neck areas. Read More