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Ankle sprains are the most commonly diagnosed ankle problems with thousands occurring each day. The term 'sprained ankle' seems to imply a rather insignificant injury, but this is not always the case. Inadequate rehabilitation can lead to prolonged symptoms, decreased sporting performance and increased risk of recurrence.

The ligaments of the ankle joint are known as the lateral ligament complex and the medial (or deltoid) ligament complex. Injuries to the lateral ligament complex (through inversion injuries) are far more common than injuries to the medial ligament This is due to the relative instability of the lateral joint and weakness of the lateral ligaments compared with the medial ligament. Occasionally in severe injuries, both medial and lateral ligaments are damaged. The amount of swelling and bruising is usually, but not always, an indication of severity.

Our therpaist rehabilitating her patient following an ankle sprian.Above: Our therpaist rehabilitating her patient following an ankle sprian.

Common ankle injures seen by Manchester Physio are:
  • Lateral & Medial Ligament Injuries
  • Persistent Pain after Ankle Sprains
  • Persistent Pain after Ankle Strains
  • Other Causes of Ankle Pain

Lateral Ligament Injuries

These can occur in activities requiring rapid changes in direction especially if these take place on uneven surfaces (e.g. grass fields). An ankle sprain may be accompanied by an audible snap, crack or tear, which, although often of great concern to the patient, is not directly related to the significance of the injury. The management of lateral ligament injuries, initially is to reduce pain and swelling through specific compression strapping by the therapist and regular icing and elevation. Following this, range of motion is restored as quickly as possible through ankle mobilisations, the prescription of specific exercises and then the aim is to build muscle strength, balance and to look to prescribing a progressive sport-specific exercise programme. Equipment such as wobble boards, wobble cushions and trampets can be used during rehabilitation.

For more information about how physiotherapy can help, or to book an appointment please call 0161 883 0077.

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