Are you one of the 70% of the population that has ever had an ankle sprain? A sprained ankle is so common it is almost ignored when it does happen – kind of considered to be a ‘standard injury’ that will fix itself because “sure, everyone sprains their ankle”.
A lack of awareness of the reduced joint movement, instability and weakness of the injured ankle can lead to further long term issues. Of all ankle sprains, 20% will become recurring and always be a problem. This is a big deal as these people cannot return to the activities they enjoy and they often become inactive.
In fact, less than half of the ankle sprains walking around out there have ever had treatment in the first place. But how do you know if your ankle is bad enough to go and see the physio?
If you sprain your ankle you definitely need treatment if:
· The ankle pain prevents you to stand and hobble immediately. If your ankle is so sore after rolling it and you “can’t walk” off your pain, you absolutely need treatment. In the case of not being able to take weight through the foot at all, you need to get an XR to make sure there is no fracture. You can go to the Emergency Department in Hospital or get a referral from your GP or physio.
· The ankle is significantly swollen. If the ankle swells up immediately, then it is more likely there is a fracture, so again you need to have an XR to check. If the swelling got worse after 24 hours, it is more likely a ligament injury as they take longer to cause inflammation swelling. With a swollen and misshapen ankle joint, you need treatment.
· The ankle can’t move properly. When you twist around your foot, compare it to the other side. If you notice you do not have full range of movement, you need treatment. Joint stiffness means you have to limp, causing other problems and torn ligaments need balance rehabilitation to repair completely.
If you answered yes to any of the above, please come and see us at Active Solutions Physiotherapy for treatment. Don’t let “just a little ankle sprain” ruin your exercise aspirations. With good Physio your ankle will completely recover.