Ankle sprains are very common amongst all sections of the community. Ankle sprains occur when one or more ligaments within the ankle are stretched beyond their anatomical capabilities resulting in a tear. Ligaments are fibrous structures that connect bones together. These injuries range from minor to very severe. Minor ankle injuries can commonly be treated at home with rest, compression and ice therapy. The most severe ankle sprains result in ligament rupture requiring surgical intervention.
Most ankle sprains result from the ankle rolling inwards, this is called an inversion sprain. This is the most unstable position for the ankle and therefore results in the most frequent injury. Less common but none the less just as painful is the eversion sprain where the foot rolls outwards.
Ankle sprains most commonly occur after the foot unexpectedly and suddenly twists in either direction. Most frequently this occurs as the result of walking on uneven ground, falling with your foot trapped beneath you, playing contact sport where you receive contact to the leg or body or physical activity where your foot lands in an awkward position.
Symptoms of an ankle sprain include pain, swelling, bruising, restricted joint movement, heat in the joint, joint instability and tenderness to touch.
Treatment of an ankle sprain depends upon severity and acuteness of the injury. Therapy will however normally consist of a combination of ice, compression, stabilization through taping or exercises, dry needling, cross friction therapy, soft tissue therapy, advice on hydrotherapy and other rehabilitative exercises, interferential therapy (similar to a TENS machine), graston, laser and ultrasound.