A sprained ankle is a soft tissue injury caused by the ankle twisting inwards (inversion) or outwards (eversion). Inversion ankle sprains account for 85% of all sprains, as the ligaments on the outside of the ankle are weaker and more prone to injury than those on the inside. Recurrent sprains can lead to chronic pain or instability so it is vital that you seek advice from a chartered physiotherapist.
Following a sprained ankle, individuals may feel pain when the injured area is touched or when the foot is turned in or out. They may also experience swelling and find it difficult to walk, with potential bruising. Symptoms will differ from mild to severe depending on the grade. If the injury is really severe they may not be able to walk at all due to a possible fracture/dislocation.
Most people will experience a decrease in pain and an improvement in function over a two week period. However, once the initial symptoms of pain and swelling have reduced, people often experience weakness, altered balance and stiffness. Research shows that individuals who suffer an ankle sprain are more likely to reinjure the same ankle again for up to two years.
Treatment depends on the grade and severity of the injury. In the early stages try not to put a lot of weight on the affected ankle before commencing treatment to minimise any further damage. (i.e. minimal walking).
Use of the POLICE protocol is used in the early stages to limit swelling and bleeding – Protection, Optimal loading, Ice, Compression and Elevation. As soon as the individual can weight bear comfortably, our physiotherapists will begin more hands on therapies along with a more dynamic neuromuscular rehabilitation program. This will target any problems with weakness, altered postural control, balance problems and stiffness that our physiotherapists identify through their ongoing detailed assessments.
Our Physio’s have an abundance of clinical experience treating sprained ankles. We provide expert treatment for your ankle pain as well as supplying you with exercises to treat and strengthen your ankle to give you a long term solution to manage any weakness in the ankle and lower limbs.