Ankle Sprains

An ankle sprain is a very common, acute, painful injury and usually occurs on the outside part of the ankle.

An ankle sprain is a sudden injury to the tough bands of tissue (ligaments) that connect the bones of the leg to the foot. An ankle sprain usually happens when you accidentally twist or turn your ankle in an awkward way, which can stretch or tear the ankle ligaments.

The most common ankle sprain occurs on the lateral or outside part of the ankle. This is an extremely common injury which affects many people during a wide variety of activities. Ankle sprains can occur with a slip, trip or fall during day to day activities or as a result of landing badly during intensive sporting activity.

Some people are predisposed to ankle sprains. In people with a high arch, where often the posture of the heels is slightly turned toward the inside, these injuries are more common.

Symptoms of an ankle sprain

  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Inability to put weight on the affected ankle
  • Skin discoloration
  • Stiffness

Management of ankle sprains may include some of the following

Treatment in the first 48 to 72 hours consists of resting the ankle, icing 20 minutes every two to three hours, compressing with an elastic bandage, and elevating the limb.

  • Use elastic bandages (such as Theraband) to wrap the ankle.
  • Wearing a brace to support your ankle.
  • Use crutches, if needed.
  • Elevate the foot. This will help reduce swelling.
  • Take anti-inflammatory medication (if you are able) to manage swelling and pain.

Reduce weight-bearing on the ankle until the pain subsides. For mild sprains, this may take a week to 10 days, while more severe sprains may take several weeks to heal.

Prevention of future ankle sprains

  • Wear an elastic bandage or brace, if necessary
  • Wear foot orthoses to improve stability and feedback
  • Ongoing strengthening exercises
  • Avoid high heels
  • Warm up before exercising
  • Wear good fitting, sturdy, quality, fit for purpose footwear
  • Pay attention to surfaces you’re walking on
  • Slow or stop activities when fatigued

Formthotics can help relieve the symptoms, and prevent recurrence of ankle sprains.

Foot orthoses have been shown to have a positive effect for patients with chronic ankle instability or for any patient who has suffered a significant acute ankle sprain.

Foot orthoses can significantly improve balance and proprioception in the lower extremity, and can be a valuable adjunct to a functional rehabilitation program after an ankle sprain.

Formthotics can provide the ideal base to support and distribute loading in people with high arches. The multiple density options allow your podiatrist to select Formthotics best for your feet, footwear and activity. Your Formthotics are then able to be customised by your podiatrist specifically for the needs of your feet.

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