Sprains are injuries to the ligaments that hold joints together. Ankle sprains occur when the foot twists or turns beyond its normal range of movement, causing the ligaments to stretch beyond their normal length. If the force is too strong, the ligaments may tear. An ankle sprain can range from mild to severe, depending on how badly the ligament is damaged or how many ligaments are injured. An ankle sprain is given a grade from 1 to 3 depending on the amount of ligament damaged. A grade 1 sprain is mild, grade 2 is moderate, and grade 3 is severe. An ankle sprain can also be classified as acute, chronic or recurrent. An acute sprain occurred recently, usually within the past few weeks, and is in an active stage of healing. A chronic sprain continues to cause symptoms beyond the expected time for normal healing. A recurrent sprain occurs easily and frequently, usually with only minimal force. Common symptoms of an ankle sprain include varying intensity of pain especially with movement, swelling, bruising, tenderness when touched and inability to bear weight on the ankle.