When a ligament is injured often there is disruption to the proprioception (overall sense of body position and movement) and therefore a period of re-training is required to ensure joint stability is re-established. The mechanism behind an ankle sprain can result in forces that may cause the ligaments to stretch beyond their normal length. If the force is too strong, the ligaments can tear.
A sprained ankle will cause a decrease in function and pain, which may result in time out of your chosen sport and/or your workplace. In the case of an acute ankle sprain the management should follow R.I.C.E.R:
- Rest – Stop what your doing and avoid activity.
- Ice – Apply an ice pack to the affected area for 20 minutes every hour (24-72 hours).
- Compression – Compression bandage to reduce swelling.
- Elevation – Elevate the affected leg to reduce swelling.
- Referral – If pain persists consult an APSS practitioner.
This management will ensure a minor sprained ankle will be treated effectively, however when ever a joint is compromised re-training of correct function is advised.
Our practitioners at APSS will also be able to assess the extent of the damage, diagnose and then treat according to their findings. This may involve the patient being sent off for a scan (x-ray and occasionally an MRI) to rule out any serious boney or ligamentous damage. Once a diagnosis is made the practitioners at APSS are able to assist in the re-training which may involve some soft tissue massage, manipulation of associated joints and muscles which are either a direct result of the injury or compensation patterns that may arise. You may also be given mobilisation and strengthening exercises to take home with you.