A sprained ankle is a very common condition of the ankle, also called a “twisted ankle” or “rolled ankle”. It also affects the ligaments of the ankle. The risk of an ankle sprain is increased during activities that involve extensive side-to-side motions such as in basketball and tennis. It is also common for an ankle sprain to occur during normal daily activities such as stepping off of a curb or slipping.
The most common type of ankle sprain is called a “Inversion” or “lateral” ankle sprain. This means the foot is twisted in towards the body too much, affected the outside aspect of the foot.
Proper compression of the sprain is important to help provide support and decrease initial inflammation in the ankle. The wrapping starts at the ball of the foot and continues up above the ankle.
During treatment, your Physiotherapist will teach you exercises that are focused on increasing the range of motion in the ankle. Also show you exercises that will help strengthen the muscles surrounding the ankle to protect it from further damage. These exercises will include ankle circles, moving the foot upwards and pointing downwards, as well as side to side motions. The Physiotherapist will also include balance training as part of the strengthening exercises to enhance balance and stability by using a wobble board and proprioceptive exercises.
Ankle strains affect the muscles of the ankle, and can be caused from similar actions to those that cause ankle sprains. Treatment for ankle strains focus more on strengthening of the muscles in the ankle.