START HERE

Blog

Top Tips on How to Manage an Ankle Sprain
"

Learn More

Lets face it… most of us have been there, whether its rolling your ankle playing 5-aside, tripping off the curb, a few too many in high heels, or even just falling over the dog, ankle sprains are fairly common and very painful!

What is an ankle sprain?

For the purpose of this blog we’ll focus on the most common type of ankle sprain, the Lateral ankle sprain. This happens when your foot turns ‘inwards’ under your ankle or ‘Inverts’. This action causes a great deal of force to be applied to the ligaments stabilising the area, the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL), calcaneofibular ligament (CFL), the Posterior talofibular ligament (PTFL), the peroneal muscle tendons and the facia/ retinaculum that holds everything in place.

lateral ligament anatomy

Types of Ankle injury

As Physio’s we tend to categorise these injuries into three grades depending on their severity;

  • Grade 1 – mild sprain
  • Grade 2 – moderate sprain
  • Grade 3 – larger/severe sprain or rupture

To scan or not to scan?

Generally speaking, unless it is a severe ankle sprain (and we’ll pick up on that straight away). Scans are rarely necessary after an ankle sprain. The main reason for an X-ray following a bad injury is to rule out a possible fracture, however this is only needed if you fit the following criteria set out by the ‘Ottawa ankle Rules’, this will be assessed by your Physiotherapist so it is vital to get an assessment ASAP after injury.

ankle MRI

Do I need crutches?

In some cases after an ankle sprain crutches might be advised by your Physio to aid with walking while pain levels are high. For more serious injuries it might be advised for you to wear a boot, the purpose of this is to immobilise the joint and allow the healing process to begin without re-aggravation from excess movement or forces from walking.

aircast sp walker rooney2

Early Stage Rehab

  • Active ROM drills (Range of Motion)

The amount you can move your ankle will depend on the severity of the injury, Pain free movements are best in the initial stage of recovery little and often throughout the day.

  • Isometric Strengthening drills

These drills allow the muscles to maintain strength and control while you recover, they are also proven to decrease pain levels. We would advise starting low with 5 second holds for no more than 5 repetitions at a time.

  • Through Range Strengthening

In less severe injuries we may be able to push the ankle further earlier on in the rehab process. The main indication for moving onto these drills are minimal to no swelling, pain levels below 4/10 with end range movement and a normal walking Gait.

  • Balance Drills

Due to the ‘Neural inhibition’ caused by the inflammation at the region, we can quickly lose the ability to balance on the joint. Therefore, it is imperative to regain this quickly to prevent re-injury and to aid with further exercise progressions.

Wrap Up

Ankle sprains are unfortunately a common occurrence but early effective intervention can allow for a speedy and safe return to activity. Not to mention the significantly reduced risk of future injuries.

To book a physiotherapy assessment in Manchester, Warrington, Liverpool, or Online using the link below.

Request a Callback   Book Online

Related Posts

How to manage a sports injury

Last year in the premier league there were 327 significant injuries sustained with an estimated 67, 025 days lost to injury in total. That averages out at 204 days lost to significant injury per player last year! And that’s professional elite level...

read more
How to Fix Your Foot Pain

Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain that we see here at The Physio Lounge. It can be severely debilitating, preventing you from continuing with your hobbies and can even make the simplest of tasks, such as walking, hard...

read more
Running After Injury – How Do You Return Safely?

Running After Injury Whether you run marathons, run for sport or just like to run around the block, sadly there will be times when you’ll have to take some time away from running after injury. A return to running programme is vital to ensure you...

read more

WHERE TO FIND US

Our Reviews

I would like to thank The Physio Lounge for the recent help i received. I had hurt my lower back and was in extreme pain. I thought due to the covid 19 restrictions I would have to suffer. However i contacted the Physio Lounge and a video call was set up.

- Jo

I have been attending The Physio Lounge since September 2019 twice a week after a serious motorcycle accident with very complex injuries. I have nothing but admiration for Craig and his colleagues dealing and treating me. They have shown me total respect, and without doubt have made my recovery better and quicker than I could of ever expected.

- Karl Halton

I have been treated by Craig at the Physiolounge several times over the last few years for various different running injuries. I’m always impressed by his knowledge, dedication and skill. He even managed In the last few weeks to remotely diagnose and cure a knee problem I had! I would highly recommend Physiolounge.

- Richard

I’ve had many injuries over the past few years including shoulder, hamstring and ankle to name a few. I’ve used Physio Lounge consistently and they’ve done a tremendous job.

- Jimbag Ant

Accepted Insurance

We accept all major healthcare insurers, if you don't see yours listed don't worry, we may still be able to help, just get in touch and we'll do what we can to help!