Ankle sprains are everyday occurrences that commonly take place in sports or other leisure and recreational activities. The ankle joint is supported by medial and lateral ligaments (inner & outer respectively) and is designed to adapt to uneven terrain and awkward landings but may become injured following a sudden twist or fall. Such incidents may lead to a ligament sprain (tear/rupture) or in severe cases, a fracture or dislocation.
Causes: The most common injuries are normally associated with the lateral ligaments that may sprain following a forceful twist of the ankle inwards as the foot strikes the ground. This may cause the ligaments to tear as they overstretch beyond their limit. If the ankle joint is overstretched outwards, the injury is normally associated with the medial ligaments. Ankle sprains are common in day to day activities such as walking downstairs, falling off the edge of a kerb or mis-placing the foot whilst walking. Sprains are more common amongst sports and leisure activities that involve running, walking and jumping on uneven terrain. Lower limb biomechanical implications and poor footwear may also be one of the underlying causative factors to the problem.
Symptoms & Diagnosis: Pain, swelling and bruising are the most common symptoms associated with an ankle sprain. The degree of the symptoms will vary depending on the extent of the sprain from mild to severe. In more severe cases, walking will be difficult and weight bearing on the ankle may be problematic. A skilled physiotherapist will diagnose the problem and an X-ray may be indicated to identify whether there is a fracture.
Management: Physiotherapy will help to reduce pain and inflammation in both acute and chronic cases. An ankle support or strapping may be required to support and stabilise the joint during the acute phase. Subsequent rehabilitation will help to restore full function and assist with a swift return to sport and other leisure activities. A biomechanical assessment may be indicated to identify whether any underlying factor exists that may have contributed to the injury.
Please feel free to contact the G4 Clinic to speak to a member of the team for any questions that you may have.