The ankle joint consists of the talus and the lower end of the fibula and the tibia bones. An ankle sprain affects the ligaments around the ankle, primarily the anterior talo-fibular ligament.
Runners often prefer to run cross country as opposed to roads. Running on uneven ground can result in an ankle sprain. Total recovery can take between 1-6 weeks depending on the extent of the ligament and soft tissue damage.
Running on uneven surfaces is a common cause of ankle sprains. Foot imbalance (over pronation) is also a common contributing factor. Over pronation causes the foot to roll in excessively during the running stride.
Apply ice to the area straight away. You may need x-rays depending on the severity of the ankle sprain.
Do not follow any other treatment regimes until a diagnosis is confirmed by a doctor. The R.I.C.E theory should be used, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
The recovery time is usually between 3-7 weeks; however; the swelling may last for a few months. In severe cases surgery may be necessary to repair tendons around the ankle joint.
Replacing current running shoes and the use of sports/orthotics and insoles can dramatically improve the healing phase of the injury.