Sprain (Sprained ankle; ankle injury; ankle pain)
an ankle sprain or sprained ankle?
sprain is the most common injury to the ankle and the long term
consequences of an ankle sprain is a common cause of chronic ankle
pain. The most common type is the inversion ankle sprain, in which
the ankle rolls over on the outside.
sprain is the stretching and tearing of ligaments - in the sprained
ankle the most common damage is done to the talo-fibula ligament
(if the ankle sprain is worse, the calcaneo-fibula ligament can
also be damaged) - sometimes the tendons also get damaged.
that makes the ankle 'tip over' increases the chance of an ankle
sprain - this can occur in sport (eg jumping and landing on someone's
else's foot), walking on uneven surface, twisting motions etc.
of factors predispose to ankle sprains:
rehabilitation of a previous sprained ankle
proprioception (proprioception is the ability to sense where a joint
is .... if you don't know where your ankle is, the muscles will
not be able to prevent the ankle sprain)
feet are very easy to 'tip over' - this is common in those who frequently
'roll the ankle', without actually doing any damage and spraining
muscles (they are just not strong enough to prevent the sprain occurring)
ankle is often classified as to how severe it is:
degree ankle sprain:
* Some stretching or mild
tearing of the ligament.
* Little or no functional loss - the joint can still function and
bear some weight (...but hurts!!!).
* Mild pain
* Some swelling
* Some joint stiffness.
Second degree ankle sprain:
* Some more severe tearing
of the ligaments
* Moderate instability of the joint
* Moderate to severe pain - weightbearing is very painful
* Swelling and stiffness
Third degree ankle sprain:
* Total rupture of a ligament
- there is a loss of motion
* Gross instability of the joint - joint function is lost
* Severe pain initially followed by no pain
* Severe swelling
do when it you get an ankle sprain or sprained ankle?
The sooner treatment
starts for a sprained ankle, the greater chance to prevent chronic
pain and long term instability.
For all grades of ankle
sprain follow the R.I.C.E. principles as soon
your ankle - do not walk on it.
- this helps to keep the swelling down. Use ice on the injury several
times a day for 15-20 minutes (more than 20 minutes is not advised)
bandages are needed to immobilize the ankle sprain and to support
the ankle above your heart level for as much as you can for 48 hours.
If the sprain is a 2nd
or 3rd degree ankle sprain, seek professional advice immediately.
the ankle sprain is a 2nd degree sprain, then in addition to the
R.I.C.E. principle, a more effective means of immoblising the ankle
(splints) may be needed. Anti-inflammatory medication may also be
used to help.
ankle sprain is a 3rd degree sprain, cast immoblisation is needed
for at least 2-3 weeks. Surgery to repair the ruptured ligament
is ont often needed.
therapy modalities (such as ultrasound) and manual therapy modalities
(such as friction massage) are often used when the acute phase is
as treatment is instigated, consideration must be given to adequate
to increase proprioception
braces and strapping to facilitate activity
* muscle strengthening
and flexibility exercises
* gradual return to any
* maintain fitness by
doing alternative activities
for sprained ankle rehabilitation
Exercises after the first 48 hours
play a major role in the in the rehabilitation of the sprained ankle
and the prevent of ankle sprains.
of motion exercises
Initially, start by using a towel to gently
pull the foot towards you. Repeat this several times a day, Later
use calf muscle stretches
against the wall.
Initially, start by balancing on one foot -
hold for as long as possible - repeat several times a day. Later
a 'wobble' board can be used.
Initially start by pushing the foot outward
against a wall. Hold for 3 seconds - repeat 20 times, several times
a day. Later use an elastic band that is tied to a heavy object
and move the foot outward against this.
This is not a comprehensive ankle
sprain rehabilitation program, but gives an idea of the kind of
exercises that are needed for the sprained ankle.
long term pain after ankle sprains
most common cause for long term pain after an ankle sprain is poor
rehabilitation of a previous ankle sprain. All causes of chronic
pain after an ankle sprain should be evaluation by a health professional.
causes are of chronic ankle pain are:
* a fracture
that was not initially diagnosed
dissecans (loose bit of bone in the joint)
instability (a feeling of 'giving way')
is complicated and diagnosis of what is causing the chronic pain
after the ankle sprain is not easy.
of the sprained ankle
number of things can be done to prevent an ankle sprain, especially
if there is a history of recurrent sprained ankles:
to stretch the calf muscles,
strengthen the muscles and the balance exercises
* use strapping or an
* sometimes a wedge in
the shoe will help prevent the ankle from 'tipping over' - this
is particular helpful in those who 'roll' their ankle a lot
Those who chronically sprain the ankle on
a regular basis usually need surgery to 'tighten' the ligaments
or move a tendon to help stabilise the ankle.
relevance to ankle sprains
resources on the sprained ankle
resources on ankle pain
a question in the foot health forum about ankle injuries
products to help your feet:
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ankle injury and ankle pain and should at no time be considered
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seeking professional advice for a sprained ankle, ankle sprain,
ankle injury and ankle pain and all foot problems before embarking
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Sprain (Sprained ankle; ankle injury; ankle pain)