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What is a joint sprain?

A joint sprain is characterised by damage or tearing of the connective tissue (such as ligaments, cartilage and joint capsule) of one or more joints in the foot.

What causes a joint sprain?

A joint sprain in the foot is caused by an awkward movement such as twisting or bending or landing on an even surface during activities such as jumping, running, gymnastics and football. Sometimes, a sprained foot will occur due to repetitive strain associated with overuse and may occur in people with unstable foot types such as flat feet.

What are the signs and symptoms of a joint sprain?

A sudden onset of pain in the affected joint during activity is the initial symptom experienced if you have sprained a joint in your foot.

Some people may also experience pain and stiffness after the activity, particularly the next morning and the area may be tender to touch.

A joint sprain may also be accompanied by swelling, redness and bruising depending on the extent of the injury.

Diagnosis of a joint sprain

A physical assessment from a physiotherapist or a doctor will diagnose a joint sprain.

Physiotherapy treatment for joint sprain

Physiotherapy following a joint sprain will facilitate your recovery and get you back to your sport quicker.

One of our experienced physiotherapists at Manchester Physio will initially assess your foot looking at pain, swelling, movement and strength in order to develop a treatment program tailored to you.

Physiotherapy treatment at Manchester Physio may include:
  • Protective or postural taping
  • Ice or heat treatment
  • Ultrasound to accelerate healing
  • Soft tissue massage
  • Joint mobilization once pain and swelling has settled
  • Passive stretching to regain range of movement and flexibility
  • Structured exercise program to strength and balance
  • Advice on training and how to return gradually and safely to your sport
Physiotherapy treatment at Manchester Physio will reduce pain and swelling, improve muscle strength and flexibility and ensure your foot is functioning correctly before returning to sporting and everyday activities.

In cases of foot instability or poor foot posture, your physiotherapist will refer you on to an orthotist to maximise your recovery in the short and long term.

For more information on how physiotherapy can help you, or to book an assessment please call 0161 883 0077.

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