Ligament sprains are one of the most common injuries in the foot and ankle. An ankle sprain commonly occurs during activities involving jumping and landing, or, activities requiring rapid changes in direction, especially on uneven surfaces.
If a joint is forcibly overstretched a sprain will occur. There will normally be immediate pain and patients may notice an audible snap, click or tearing sound at the time of injury, with subsequent pain, ankle swelling and difficulty walking. Healing times vary between 1 week and 4 months dependent on the grade of the sprain.
Sprains are are classified into the following grades:
- Mild (grade I) – stretched or partial tear of a ligament with no loss of ability to put weight on your injured foot.
- Moderate (grade II) – incomplete tear of a ligament with moderate loss of ability to put weight on your injured foot.
- Severe (grade III) – complete tear of a ligament which may result in total loss of ability to put weight on your injured foot.
Treatment for Ankle Ligament Sprain
Physiotherapy treatment for patients with this condition is vital to hasten the healing process, ensure an optimal outcome and decrease the likelihood of injury recurrence. Treatment may comprise:
- Biomechanical Assessment
- Deep tissue massage/myofascial release
- Dry needling /acupuncture
- Activity modification advice
- Exercise programs to improve proprioception, balance, strength and posture
- Brace/Splinting advice
- Orthotic/Insole advice
- Ice or heat treatment
- Joint mobilisation
- Joint manipulation
- Injection advice