Most of us have experienced the frustration of a rolled ankle at some point in our lives. They come in various degrees of severity but they are always an unpleasant experience that usually keeps us out of our favourite sport or leisure activity, as well as limiting our ability to walk and undertake everyday activities. Ankle injuries are often overlooked and under-treated, leading to chronic issues with ankle stability and a high chance of re-injuring the ankle and other joints in the lower body.
The ankle is made up of 3 main ligaments on the outside and one very strong ligament on the inside. There are various other tissues surrounding the ankle but these are the most commonly injured structures. Depending on the way the ankle moved during your injury will determine which of these structures may have been damaged. The reason that most people can relate to an ankle sprain is because one of the three ligaments on the outside part of the ankle is actually the most commonly sprained ligament in the entire body!
Common symptoms of an ankle sprain include:
- Bruising - this may be at the location of pain or even further into the foot
- Difficulty weight bearing through the affected side
- Decreased range of motion in the ankle
At Forefront Physiotherapy Geelong, our team of experienced sports physiotherapist will be able to assess and diagnose your ankle sprain to give you the correct treatment at the right time to avoid any serious harm.
In the meantime, here are 4 steps to help a rolled ankle:
1. Reduce the inflammation
Inflammation, identifiable as redness and swelling, can greatly contribute to the pain experienced in you ankle. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Nurofen or Voltaren and cold pack application, accompanied by compression wraps, can all help to reduce inflammation and subsequent ankle pain. Talk to your doctor about whether NSAIDs are appropriate for you. For additional pain relief you can ice your ankle. Make sure to wrap the ice pack in a damp towel and place over the affected region for 10-15 minutes only. You can reapply the ice when the skin returns to its normal temperature. Elevating the affected ankle above the level of your heart will also help to reduce the swelling.
2. Keep it moving
Although it is necessary to take relative rest for your tissues to recover, research suggests that the quicker you can tolerate movement through the ankle, the quicker you can bounce back. Try pumping your ankle up and down to start with, and side to side as it begins to move better. Try to keep these movements pain free and don’t push yourself into any nasty positions to get more range until you have had your ankle assessed by a physiotherapist at Forefront Physio Geelong.
3. Can you walk?
If you are able to weight-bear through your ankle and walk shortly after you roll it, the chances are quite low that something more serious has occurred such as a fracture. If this is the case, keep walking just as much as you can handle without stirring things up. If you are unable to walk and it is very tender to touch on the bones on the outside of the ankle, you want to book in straight away to make sure something more serious hasn’t happened.
4. Book an appointment online
It is vital to have your ankle sprain assessed by one of the experienced sports physiotherapists at Forefront Physiotherapy Geelong to minimise the amount of time you spend on the sidelines. Ankle sprains often keep happening down the track due to the lack of proper rehabilitation so make sure you get yourself fixed up once and for all!