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Ankle Injuries

Updated: Sep 6, 2020

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


A sprain occurs when the ankle joint is forced to move outside of its normal range, which can cause the ligaments and tendons to stretch, partially tear, or tear completely.


Method of injury can include

- landing awkwardly on the foot after jumping or landing

- walking / running on an uneven surface

- twisting the ankle suddenly.

- an external force, such as someone else stepping / landing on your ankle


There are numerous factors which can predispose you to an ankle injury, including

- previous ankle injury

- sports which require multi-directional movement, such as twisting, planting, cutting.

- uneven surfaces

- poor balance / proprioception

- poor biomechanics.


Symptoms of an ankle sprain can vary, but often include

- pain, especially when weight-bearing on the affected limb

- swelling of the ankle / foot

- bruising of the ankle / foot

- tenderness when pressing in on the affected area

- restriction in range of movement of the ankle

- instability of the ankle.


Rehabilitation is an important factor following ankle ligament sprains, and aims to

- reduce swelling

- improve range of motion

- improve balance and proprioception

- strengthen the ligaments, tendons and muscles

- prevent recurring ankle injuries

- reduce the incidence of chronic ankle pain / instability

- return safely to pre-injury levels of activity


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