Ankle sprains usually occur in activities requiring rapid changes in direction, especially if these take place on uneven surfaces (grass fields). They are also seen when player, having jumped, lands on another competitor’s feet. They are one of the most common injuries seen in basketball, rugby, hurling and most football codes.
Ankle sprain may be accompanied by an audible snap, crack or tear, which, although often of great concern to the athlete and onlookers, has no particular diagnostic significance. Depending on the severity of the injury, the athlete may continue to play or may rest immediately. Swelling usually appears rapidly, although occasionally it may be delayed some hours.
- Past history of ankle injuries
- Highly mobile ankle joints
- Poor footwear
- Weak lower limb muscles
- Decreased lower limb proprioception and balance
- Advancing age
- Inadequate pre-exercise warm-up
The goal of physiotherapy for ankle sprains is to reduce pain and swelling, restore full range of motion and improve muscle conditioning and proprioception in order for the patient to return to their pre-injured level of sport/activity.
- Ultrasound and/or electrical stimulation
- Therapeutic soft tissue techniques
- Therapeutic strapping and bracing
- Therapeutic exercises (strengthening, stretching, balance and proprioception)