5 Best Exercises to Recover Following an Ankle Sprain

An ankle sprain is a common injury that can lead to pain, swelling, and difficulty walking. It’s a common problem and many people seek advice and treatment following an ankle sprain. Unfortunately, research tells us that around 75% of ankle sprains are recurrent, so getting the right rehab is key early on.

Why are ankle sprains so painful?

Ankle sprains are painful because they cause damage to the ligaments that connect the bones of the foot and ankle. When the ligaments are stretched or torn, they can cause inflammation, swelling, and instability in the joint, which can be very painful. The acute inflammation is the biggest issue, as that causes a lot of pain and stiffness in the ankle.

How do most people sprain their ankle?

At Surrey Physio we see a lot of people come in with sprained ankles. It is a common injury and very problematic. Most ankle sprains occur when the foot is suddenly and forcefully twisted inwards, causing the ligaments on the outside of the ankle to stretch or tear. This type of injury is often caused by a sudden change in direction or when the foot lands on an uneven surface.

Should I seek medical attention?

A sprained ankle can cause pain, swelling, and bruising around the ankle. In some cases, the ligaments may be stretched beyond their normal range of motion, leading to instability. If the ankle is still unstable after the initial sprain, it is important to seek medical attention to ensure that the injury is properly treated. In addition, if you heard a pop or a crack, seek advice. If you are unable to weight-bear through your ankle, go to see one of our physio or osteopathy team at Surrey Physio. In addition, if you suffered trauma (for example, another player took you out on a football field), then seek advice from our team. Obviously, acute injuries need to go to Accident and Emergency to rule our a fracture.

Inversion Sprain v Eversion Sprain

Inversion sprains occur when the foot rolls inwards and the ankle is twisted outwards, while eversion sprains occur when the foot rolls outwards and the ankle is twisted inwards. Inversion sprains are typically more severe than eversion sprains, as more damage is done to the ligaments and tendons on the outside of the ankle. Treatment for inversion sprains typically includes immobilisation (using crutches, or strapping or a support), physical therapy such as physio or osteopathy, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications.

5 Best Exercises for Ankle Sprains

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to help recover from a sprained ankle.

1. Rest: After sustaining an ankle sprain, it’s important to give yourself time to rest. Avoid putting too much weight on the affected ankle and take it easy for a few days. Using crutches can help a lot.

2. Ice: In the first few days after a sprain, it’s important to apply cold compresses or an ice pack to the injured ankle. This will help reduce pain.

3. Compression: Wrap the ankle with an elastic bandage or brace to help reduce swelling and provide support.

4. Elevation: Prop the injured ankle up higher than your heart to help reduce swelling.

5. Physical Therapy (including rehab therapy, osteopathy and physio): Once the swelling has subsided, it’s important to start doing exercises to help strengthen the ankle joint. Your doctor or physical therapist can help you develop an appropriate exercise program.

By following these steps, you can help speed up your recovery from an ankle sprain and get back to normal activities. However, if your pain or swelling persists, be sure to contact us at Surrey Physio for further support, advice and guidance.

(These videos are provided by Rehab My Patient – the best exercise prescription software for therapists to prescribe exercises www.rehabmypatient.com. If you are a patient needing advice, call Surrey Physio to book a telephone/video consultation with one of our expert physios or osteopaths, or book in face-to-face for an appointment. You can call us on 0208 685 6930 or book online by clicking the link at the top of the page).