Ankle sprains and strains typically occur when your foot is suddenly and forcibly turned inwards, often called an inversion sprain and resulting in damaged ligaments on the outside of the ankle. The commonest ligament that is injured is called the “ATFL”, which stands for the anterior talofibular ligament.
Inversion sprains result in:
- foot pain
- foot swelling
- foot bruising
- foot stiffness
Immediate treatment is to apply:
Ice and compression (ice pack or a packet of frozen veg and wrap a towel around ice pack to apply compression, leave in place for 15 minutes and re-apply every 60 minutes for the ice treatment to be effective until there is a noticeable reduction in swelling.
Keep foot and ankle elevated whilst rotating using small circular movements, clockwise and anticlockwise and/or draw with your foot in lower case the letters of the alphabet.
Take pain relief medication ensuring you keep to the dosages advised on the box.
Ensure you seek medical help within the first 24 to 36 hours following an ankle sprain or strain.
If your ankle continues to be painful after a number of weeks following your sprain, consult a Podiatrist.
Examination could reveal a tear, with the formation of scar tissue which may result in long term pain, stiffness and loss of function.
Treatment of chronic ankle pain due to a sprain:
- Localised friction massage
- Rehab exercises
- Referral to Physiotherapist/Chiropractor
- Orthotics to realign ankle joint and increase stability