This is an injury to one or more of the ligaments around the ankle joint. Ligaments are strong elastic band-like tissues which hold bones together. Often a sprain occurs on the outside of the ankle or lateral side. Most people sprain their ankle by ‘rolling’ over onto the outside of their foot, this is known as an inversion injury.
Signs and symptoms
A sprained ankle is usually painful especially around the area of damaged ligament; you may see swelling find your ankle difficult to move or to walk on. You may also see some bruising. In more severe sprains you may find that you struggle to walk and limp when weight bearing.
How physiotherapy can help
A Physiotherapist can help advise on immediate treatment, such as PRICE – Protect, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation, as well as rehabilitation options for your ankle once the initial symptoms have settled. Should you experience walking difficulties your Physiotherapist can provide a crutch to help support you when walking should this be necessary. Remember it is important to encourage normal movement to the ankle rather than walk badly so try to avoid this.
Physiotherapy can work to return your ankle movement to normal, improve the strength of the surrounding tissues, including muscles and advise on any ankle braces (if required) in order that you may return to the sports / hobbies you enjoy.
It is important not to ignore an ankle sprain or a sprain that is not improving.