How to Treat a Sprained Ankle

What is a sprained ankle?  A sprained ankle is an injury that occurs when you twist, roll or turn your ankle in an awkward way.

How do you know if your ankle is sprained?

  • Signs and symptoms of a sprained ankle will vary due to the severity of the injury
  • You may not be able to use your ankle as you normally would and will have trouble putting weight on it
  • You may experience moderate pain, bruising and swelling
  • The ankle will feel loose and may appear that it has been pulled forward

Determine the severity of the sprain

Sprains come in 3 grades:

  • A grade 1 sprain has slight tearing of the ligaments it will result in mild tenderness and swelling
  • A grade 2 sprain has partial ligament tearing, and moderate tenderness and swelling
  • A grade 3 sprain is a complete tearing or rupture of ankle ligaments, ankle is unstable with a tremendous amount of pain, bruising and swelling

What should you do if you sprain your ankle?

  • Ice Treating a sprain with ice can reduce pain and swelling
  • Depending on the severity of the sprain you could use an elastic bandage, sports tape or an ankle support brace to keep the ankle stable.  If the sprain is severe you may even need a cast or a walking boot
  • Take NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen or Nurofen if you are allowed to take this
  • Gently massage the ankle to shift the swelling from the area

How long does a sprained ankle last? 

Depends of the severity, 3 to 4 weeks to heal a moderate ankle sprain and 3 to 6 months for a more severe injury to heal

If you have a sprained ankle avoid:

  • Any activities that actively cause pain in your ankle. You could still encourage faster healing by doing simple range-of-motion stretches with the ankle, as long as it doesn’t cause pain
  • Avoid walking on your ankle as much as possible until the swelling goes down 
  • Try not to put weight on the ankle, you could use crutches to help distribute your weight and keep your balance when you walk

See your doctor for moderate or severe sprains. A grade 1 sprain may not require any medical attention, but grades 2-3 should be seen by a doctor. If your sprain prevents you from comfortably putting weight on your ankle for more than a day, or if you experience severe pain and swelling, call your doctor or physiotherapist to make an appointment as soon as possible. You should consider physiotherapy particularly if your ankle is taking a long time to heal, or if your doctor recommends it.

If you need a physiotherapist please call Home Physio Group on 020 7096 0684 to talk to one of our dedicated members of our team to find out how we can help.

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Why choose Home Physio Group?

We are a dedicated team of Chartered Physiotherapists working exclusively in your home and providing the highest level of care. We recognise the importance of knowing that you are in safe hands and being looked after. With this is mind, our client management team are here to assist you every step of the way and will answer any questions you may have. We are passionate about helping you to reach your goals, relieve your pain, and improve your mobility.

The benefits of using our service include:

  • All our physiotherapists are hand-picked professionals with years of experience
  • We are registered with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) and Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC). All our physiotherapists are checked by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) 
  • We will arrange visits in your own home (or care home or place of work) at a convenient time to you
  • We work at speed and do not have a waiting list
  • We offer daytime, evening and weekend appointments
  • Our team work closely with the country’s leading consultants and specialists in their field
  • You will always have the same physiotherapist visiting you at home
  • You can have as may visits as you require
  • Our fixed pricing structure can be provided in writing so that you can consider it in your own time
  • We believe there is no “one size fits all” approach to care. Your personalised programme and treatment strategy will be unique to you