The outside of the ankle is comprised of three ligaments which are strong connective tissue that stabilises the ankle joint. Lateral ankle sprain is one of the most common sporting injuries and is frequently re-injured. Lateral ankle sprains commonly occur when the ankle rolls inwards under body weight, which can stretch or in worst cases rupture the ligaments to the outside of the ankle. With lateral ankle sprains the surrounding tendons, muscles and nerves may also be damaged. When suffering with a lateral ankle sprain there will be a lot of pain around the outside of the ankle joint and there may be pain when walking. There may also be swelling or bruising to the ankle, which can present immediately or up to 48 hours post injury; the amount depends on how severe the sprain is, with some cases not having any swelling/bruising at all.
Your therapist will take a detailed history of your symptoms then perform a physical examination, which will determine the severity and grade of the ankle sprain. The grades range from 1-3 with grade 1 being the least severe. These grading’s will also determine the amount of sessions that will be needed for treatment. In some cases, imaging may be necessary to determine the grade of the sprain.
At the clinic we provide a comprehensive treatment program for lateral ankle sprain. This includes advice, activity modification and treatments including PRICE (protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation), deep tissue massage, acupuncture, electrotherapy and Kinesio taping. Your therapist will also prescribe a home exercise programme to complete at home between sessions. We generally recommend weekly sessions for a lateral ankle sprain, which can then be spaced out as the condition improves.