An ankle sprain is a common musculoskeletal injury caused by a tear or damage to one of the ligaments surrounding the ankle joint. It is frequently the outcome of an event, such as a sports contact, a trip, or a misstep while walking. It can affect people of all ages and athletic abilities.
Ankle sprain symptoms can vary greatly in terms of the degree of pain, limitation of movement, and swelling present. These are usually determined by the location and severity of the sprain.
However, regardless of the severity of your symptoms, if you suspect you have hurt your ankle, you should consult a physiotherapist as soon as possible. Ideally, within 36-48 hours after the injury, to ensure that the pain and swelling have a chance to settle before starting. In the meantime, at home, use the R.I.C.E. routine (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) to promote the healing process.
Physiotherapy early on can reduce the chance of additional ankle issues such as persistent pain, stiffness, lack of movement, or strength. Your physiotherapist will be able to check the severity and instability of your ankle sprain, as well as any functional limitations, and rule out anything more serious, such as a fracture.
Treatment with a physiotherapist will use a combination of exercise and manual hands-on therapy to improve strength, range of motion, and proprioception of the ankle.
In the case of most ankle sprains, rest alone is unlikely to be an effective treatment method. Being proactive and obtaining treatment will not only encourage and accelerate your ankle sprain recovery time but will also maximize ankle strength and prevent re-injury in the future. A physiotherapist can educate you and design an exercise program for you to restore the function of your ankle joint and surrounding muscles.
If you believe you have sustained an ankle sprain or are experiencing ankle pain, book an assessment with one of our qualified physiotherapists here!