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Ankle sprain

What is an ankle sprain?

An ankle sprain is an injury to the ligaments of the ankle and/or the foot.  This strain to ligaments can occur on the inside, outside, or across the top of the ankle, although the most common is the outside.  The strains are graded according to their severity - grade 1 means the ligaments have stretched up to grade 3 where the ligaments have ruptured and the joint is unstable.

What are the symptoms of an ankle sprain?

Pain is the most common complaint - usually at the ankle and often into the foot.  The amount of swelling gives a reasonable indication as to the severity but it is not completely reliable and so a medical opinion is often advisable, particularly if you are unable to weight bear more than 4 steps.

Why does it happen?

Ankle sprains are usually the result of a trip or fall and a rolling action, often going onto the outer border of the foot.  If you have previously had an ankle sprain you are at a greater risk of having another one, particularly if it was not rehabilitated.  Other factors that increase your risk are poor balance, strength and mobility in the area and being hypermobile.

Self-help measures for an Ankle Sprain

For the first 72 hours, apply the POLICE regime.  This is:

1)  Protection.  Consider using a splint or strapping to help protect the ankle and help you complete your normal every day activities. 

2)  Optimum loading.  Complete rest is not always advised as complete immobilisation may delay healing and recovery, so try and perform gentle, pain free movements when you can

3)  Ice.  This is best applied in the form of crushed ice for say 20 minutes every 2 hours

4)  Compression.  Use a stretchy bandage. Ensure it is not too tight so that it causes discomfort or interferes with blood flow.

5)  Elevation. When you are resting have your ankle higher than your hip to encourage a reduction in swelling

What can The StoneHouse Clinic do for your Ankle Sprain?

If the self-help measures are not having any or a lasting effect, we can help the healing process so your return to pain-free activity is much quicker, and also advise you on a bespoke rehabilitation plan to help prevent the injury from re-occurring.  The treatment and advice will be completely bespoke and individual to your needs.  Treatment may include:

- strapping the ankle
- exercises to help strengthen the surrounding muscles
- electrotherapy
- assessment of foot mechanics
- advice on self-help measures and how best to prevent it happening again

If you are suffering with a sprained ankle and would like to book an appointment at The StoneHouse Clinic (located at Hartham Park, Corsham, Wiltshire near Chippenham and Bath) for Physiotherapy treatment then please find our contact details by clicking here



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