Rolled your ankle? Physio can help!!

POSTED: 09 Dec, 2022

Lateral Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are a one of the most common injuries in individuals who are highly active, as well as being an injury with a high recurrence rate ( The ankle joint is made up of three different bone s the Talus (ankle bone), the Tibia (the bigger shin bone), and the Fibula (the smaller shin bone), as well as a series of different ligaments running over the lateral (outside) and medial (inside) bones providing support and stability to the joint. The lateral ankle has three different ligaments providing support with the one that is most commonly injured being the Anterior Talo-Fibular Ligament (ATFL).

Lateral Ankle sprains occur with the common “rolling” injury where the weight goes to the outside of the foot causing a strain through the ankle. This mechanism is common with sport or exercise, however can also occur from stepping awkwardly or on uneven surfaces. Actions that disrupt balance or shift your centre of gravity such as Jumping, Running, Twisting, or Sudden changes in direction may cause the ankle to roll outwards.

Common Symptoms of Ankle Sprains

With a sprained ankle you may experience the following symptoms: Swelling (this may be immediate or over the next few hours); bruising around the lateral ankle joint; localised tenderness around the joint, pain with walking or with weightbearing (

Within ankle sprains there are different grades depending on the severity of the injury:

  • Grade 1; these are considered smaller tears through the ATFL, which may result in minimal swelling and pain, with the ability to walk and bear weight without/with minimal pain
  • Grade 2; these are considered larger tears of the ATFL sometimes with injuries to the surrounding ligaments. These often occur with bruising, increased swelling and moderate to high pain with walking and bearing weight
  • Grade 3; these are considered complete ruptures of the ATFL, these normally have large amounts of swelling and tenderness around the whole ankle, often with minimal or no ability to walk without high levels of pain

What Can You Do About an Ankle Sprain?

In the early stages of an Ankle Sprain the following can be helpful in reducing swelling, pain and symptoms:

  • Rest and reducing activity
  • Ice Therapy (20 minutes on every 2 hours for the first 24 hours)
  • Compress the injured ankle with tape of bandage around the joint
  • Elevate the ankle
  • Refer; Further medical advice from your GP may be required to determine if medical imaging is needed if you are unable to walk on the ankle

You should also get in contact to see your physiotherapist for an assessment at your earliest availability, to assist with getting you on the right track with your recovery and rehabilitation

What Can A Physiotherapist Do About an Ankle Sprain?

The team here at IntegratePHYSIO will provide you with a comprehensive assessment following your injury ensuring to get a detailed history and examination of the ankle to help with providing you with a diagnosis as well as treatment plan for your injury.

Studies show that rehabilitation should include rehabilitation and techniques to assist with reducing your pain, and improving the range of motion in the joint in the early stage. This is then followed by strength training of the surrounding muscles, as well as exercises targeted at improving and restoring balance (proprioception) at the ankle joint.

Evidence shows that early weight-bearing with support and commencing rehabilitation early helps with speeding up recovery and a faster return to sports, and exercise. The clinicians at IntegratePHYSIO take into account your previous history, as well as evidence to provide you with a tailor made program to assist you with getting back to your desired activity as quickly as possible.

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