The one injury I’ve probably seen the most in my career as a Physio is a sprained ankle. This injury can affect anyone at any age. Some sprains can be quite minor while others can be more substantial. In either case, make sure that you don’t leave this injury untreated as studies show that the risk of suffering from an ankle sprain is higher in those with a previous history of ankle sprains. In addition, if a slight acute injury is left untreated it can, over time, become a chronic condition that results in far worse consequences.
So here’s what can you do if you roll your ankle and experience one or more of the following symptoms: localised pain, swelling, bruising, restricted movement and inability to bear weight/ walk.
Take immediate measures to follow the RICE principle.
- Rest: limit movement and reduce weight bearing. It helps to stabilise the joint.
- Ice: treat the area with a bag of frozen peas for 20mins every couple of hours to avoid burning the skin. Ice helps reducing inflammation.
- Compression: compress the area using a tight bandage or an ankle brace. It helps to immobilise and stabilise the joint and reduces pain.
- Elevation: elevate the foot above heart level by lying down and supporting the foot and knee with firm pillows or similar. Elevation helps to minimise swelling.
I would strongly recommended to instantly book an appointment with an experienced practitioner. They will make a thorough assessment as there’s different types of sprains. They will also determine the degree of injury and whether you need to get an X-Ray or MRI or wear a boot. Did you know that the Physiotherapists and Osteopaths at Coast Health Clinic can refer you? That’s right, you don’t need to see your GP for this. Sprains can vary widely, but your Physio or Osteo will help you manage the pain and swelling in that early, acute phase and help you return to work or sport as quick as possible. To assist the process there’s techniques like mobilization, strapping, kinesio- taping, manual therapy and a proprioception and balance based exercise program that Physiotherapists work with. As you progress, it’s important to analyse your gait, to assess biomechanical mobility in relation to the lower limbs as our walking and running gait can often be responsible for a multitude of pains and injuries experienced by individuals and athletes. Generally speaking an ankle sprain will need 4-6 weeks to recover.
Did you hurt your ankle in the past and you’re not sure if you might’ve done damage?
Give our friendly team a call today to have a chat!