Ankle Sprain

How It Happens

Usually an ankle sprain is the result of excessive force on the ankle in an inverted position.

The inverted position refers to the foot turning towards the inside (see picture).

The force applied to the ligaments of the outside portion of the ankle exceeds their level of resistance.

Typical Ankle Sprain

Swelling will appear on the lateral aspect (outside part) of the ankle. The swelling may extend to the medial aspect (inside part) or around the achilles tendon, as swelling tends to go where there is least resistance in the tissues.

The lateral part of the ankle will be very tender. There might be pain all around the ankle but generally the tenderest area will be the outside part.

There may be bruising around the ankle. This indicates that part of the ligament is torn. The more significant the bruising, the more significant the tear.

What Should You Do?

You should immediately cease the activity you were performing at the time of the sprain. Avoid weight bearing on that leg.

Apply ice as soon as possible (in a wet towel for 10 to 15 minutes). Repeat every 15 to 20 minutes for the first 2 to 3 hours.

Apply compression on your foot and ankle with a tensor bandage. The compression should be greater on the foot than on the ankle. Note that the tensor bandage does not increase the stability of the ankle, it strictly helps minimize the swelling.

Elevate your ankle to help reduce the swelling. Ideally, you should elevate your ankle above your heart to increase the return circulation.

Will Physiotherapy Help Me?

A physiotherapist can assess the level of damage to your ligaments and make your rehabilitation much quicker. Through the use of different techniques and modalities, physiotherapy goals will be to:

  • Restore the range of motion
  • Reduce swelling, reduce pain
  • Restore balance and co-ordination
  • Promote tissue healing
  • Regain strength and flexibility

To learn more about how you can access and benefit from our services, please contact us today!


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