A sprained ankle can also be referred to as a lateral ligament sprain, twisted ankle or rolled ankle.
What is a sprained ankle?
A sprained ankle is a condition where the soft tissue and ligaments of the ankle have been damaged or torn.
The ATF (anterior talo fibular) ligament is the most commonly injured ligament which joins the fibular and talus bones together.
The PTF (posterior talo fibular) ligament is rarely damaged.
The Calcaneo Fibular ligament can also get damaged if a force is strong enough.
Sprains can be classified into 3 grades:
Grade 1: only a few ligament fibres are torn or damaged
Grade 2: more extensive damage to fibres
Grade 3: complete tear of the ligament and possible dislocation of the joint
What causes a sprained ankle?
A sprained ankle can be caused by several things such as:
- An awkward movement for example landing on an uneven surface after jumping, running etc., twisting or bending after running or jumping.
- A repetitive injury caused by overuse
- An unstable foot such as somebody with flat feet
What are the symptoms of a sprained ankle?
- There are a few different symptoms of a sprained ankle:
- A rapid onset of pain in the ankle during the activity that has caused the sprain
- Pain and stiffness after the activity- often the next morning
- Tenderness around the site of injury
How is a sprained ankle diagnosed?
Your physiotherapist can carry out a full ankle assessment to determine if you have sprained your ankle and how much you have sprained your ankle.
You may be required to go for a scan such as an MRI scan to confirm diagnosis and see the extent of the damage. This scan can also see if any other ankle structures have been damaged.
What treatment can Farrell Physiotherapy offer for a sprained ankle?
A sprained ankle can be treated by physiotherapy in several ways. Your physiotherapist will create a treatment plan based on their findings from your assessment and each treatment plan for an individual is different to another.
There are a wide range of treatment options and your physiotherapist will decide the most appropriate treatment modalities for you based on your symptoms and how you respond to certain treatment methods.
Treatment may contain:
- Ice or heat therapy
- Postural or protective taping
- Soft tissue massage
- Joint mobilisation
- Passive stretching
- Strengthening exercise programme
- Balance exercises
- Education and advice regarding a safe and gradual return to sports
- Functional activities
- Walking aid advice if necessary
Benefit of physiotherapy for a sprained ankle?
Physiotherapy can be very effective at treating ankle sprains. Our aim is to get you back to fitness in the shortest space of time. The particular benefits you feel from physiotherapy will depend on your original symptoms and treatment goals.
Physiotherapy helps with:
- Improved flexibility and range of movement
- Increased strength
- Decreased pain
- Decreased swelling
- Accelerated healing