Ankle Sprains & Strains

December 15, 2016

Ankle Sprains/Strains

Ankle sprain is a common injury which occurs during an activity. When the ankle gets swollen and pain is felt after a twist, then it is possible that ligaments in the ankle have been torn and stretched. Ankle sprains are common but do not always mean they are considered a minor injury. In fact, some people who experience ankle sprains over-and-over again, can develop long term joint pain and weakness.

Causes of Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains know no age; it can happen to anyone especially when physical activity is involved, it may occur due to the following:

  • Sudden twist on foot
  • Forcing the ankle out of its normal position
  • Ankle may twist when there is sudden movement
  • Walking on uneven surfaces
  • Wearing inappropriate footwear
  • Doing sports and other activities that extensive movements

Symptoms of Ankle Sprains

Symptoms include having a twisted ankle, patients complain of (foot) pain outside of their ankle and different degrees of swelling and bleeding under the skin. The presence of bruising can also be expected, the term used for this is ecchymosis. Patients will have a hard time putting weight on the affected area and stiffness can be felt.

Sprained Ankle Treatment

It’s difficult to say whether the ankle sprain is serious or not, and it is recommended that you consult with a physiotherapist and have the injury assessed. Physiotherapy can diagnose, educate, and treat when indicated. We will review and modify your individualised treatment program to progress you towards the functional goals you have developed with the physio. Physiotherapy will not only help you recover, but it can help prevent recurring injury.

The RICE approach is the best way and the first thing that must be done when there is ankle sprain.

REST – rest the affected area, do not put pressure on it as much as possible or use crutches if you have activities that require you to walk a lot.

ICE – apply ice on the injured area at least the first 24-72 hours or until the swelling disappears. Apply an ice pack for 10-20 minutes every 1-2 hours every day.

COMPRESSION – wear elastic compression wrap for the first 24-36 hours to help reduce swelling.

ELEVATION – another effective way to reduce swelling and bruising is to raise the ankle above the level of the hear for 2-3 hours every day.

Contact our experienced staff at our Physiotherapy Clinic on the Sunshine Coast for further information.