What is an ankle sprain?
An ankle sprain occurs when you ‘roll your ankle’ inwards (inversion) or outwards (eversion), resulting in overstretching or possible tearing of the ligaments on either the inside or outside of your ankle.
Most commonly we see injuries to the ligaments on the outside of the ankle, which are usually the result of an inversion movement. The severity of ankle sprains ranges from a mild to more severe.
More severe injuries can result in ligament tears and sometimes even fractured bones.
What symptoms should I expect if I sprain my ankle?
Depending on the severity of injury, the symptoms that you experience will vary.
Common symptoms of an ankle sprain include swelling, bruising and pain on the inside or outside of your ankle.
In some cases, you may find it difficult to walk or weight bear on the injured side. In more severe cases, the use of crutches and/or a walking boot may be necessary to mobilise.
How is an ankle sprain diagnosed?
An ankle sprain can be diagnosed by your physiotherapist through a comprehensive clinical assessment. This is commonly diagnosed without the need for scanning or imaging.
In some cases, your physiotherapist may refer you to get an x-ray or MRI to exclude specific bone or more complex ligament injuries.
How is an ankle sprain treated?
Treatment of a sprained ankle is crucial in reducing pain and preventing re-injury.
The strongest risk factor for an ankle sprain is a past ankle sprain so it is imperative rehabilitation is carried out and full function restored!
Treatment of a sprained ankle includes, soft tissue therapy, exercises, sport specific drills, taping and education/advice.
Goals of treatment may include:
- Reduce pain
- Restore range of motion
- Increase ankle stability
- Increase muscle strength
- Restore normal walking gait
- Restore normal daily function
- Return to sport
For any further questions, book in with a physiotherapist today.