Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries seen by physiotherapists.

A sprained ankle occurs when the ligaments that connect the bones in the ankle joint are stretched or torn.

This injury can occur during physical activity, such as running, jumping, or playing sports, or even during everyday activities like walking on an uneven surface.

What is an Ankle Sprain?

An ankle sprain is an injury to the ligaments that connect the bones in the ankle joint.

These ligaments provide stability to the ankle joint and help to prevent excessive movement.

When these ligaments are stretched or torn, it can result in pain, swelling, and difficulty walking.

Common Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms of an ankle sprain can vary depending on the severity of the injury. Common signs and symptoms include –

  • Pain and tenderness around the ankle
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Difficulty walking or putting weight on the affected ankle
  • Stiffness in the ankle joint
  • Limited range of motion
  • Instability or a feeling of giving way in the ankle

How Can It Be Treated?

The treatment of an ankle sprain will depend on the severity of the injury.

In general, treatment includes –

  • Moving from Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE therapy) to PEACE and LOVE protocol reduce pain and swelling
  • Pain medication or anti-inflammatory medication to manage pain and inflammation
  • Physical therapy to improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion in the ankle joint
  • Ankle braces or supports to provide stability and prevent further injury
  • Surgery may be required for severe cases or for injuries that do not respond to other treatments


Ankle sprains are a common injury that can cause pain, swelling, and difficulty walking.

With proper treatment, most ankle sprains will heal within a few weeks.

However, if left untreated or if the injury is severe, it can lead to long-term problems such as chronic ankle instability.

It is important to seek medical attention if you suspect that you have an ankle sprain, and to follow the recommended treatment plan to prevent further injury and promote healing.

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Scientific References

Doherty C, Delahunt E, Caulfield B, et al. The incidence and prevalence of ankle sprain injury: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective epidemiological studies. Sports Med. 2014;44(1):123-140.
van Rijn RM, van Os AG, Bernsen RM, et al. What is the clinical course of acute ankle sprains? A systematic literature review. Am J Med. 2008;121(4):324-331.
Lin CF, Gross ML, Weinhold P. Ankle injuries in basketball: injury rate and risk factors. Br J Sports Med. 2008;42(5):365-371.
Gribble PA, Delahunt E, Bleakley CM, et al. Selection criteria for patients with chronic ankle instability in controlled research: a position statement of the International Ankle Consortium. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2013;43(8):585-591.