Health Tips

Search by health tip group
Search by keyword

Health Tips / Ankle Sprains

Diagnosis and Symptons

Ankle sprains are caused by damage to ligament(s) surrounding the ankle. The severity ranges from over-stretching to rupture of the ligament. The ligament can be over-stretched or torn or become detached from the bone, The most common ankle sprain is damage to the lateral ligaments on the outside of the ankle caused by twisting or turning.

In more severe cases a number of ligaments can be involved. Recurrent sprains may result in chronic ankle instability.


Symptoms include swelling, pain, tenderness and a weakness of the ankle on standing/walking. In the more severe cases which involves a snapping or tearing sensation, or instability when trying to put weight on the ankle or persistent and prolonged swelling, pain and tenderness, specialised medical advice may be required.

Preventative measures

Exercises that build up flexibility and strength in the ankle muscles and ligaments will help prevent injury. For athletes who have had a serious ankle injury a specific programme may be designed by your physiotherapist or doctor.

Strapping may be of benefit for competition. Strapping should be completed by a trained professional.

Ankle supports are available in a variety of forms including those reinforced with braces/splints to restrict movement in a particular direction. For specific injuries consult your medical professional advice on the most appropriate support. A change of footwear or orthotic insoles may also be beneficial.


For serious injury always consult your doctor or physiotherapist. 
To find a Chartered Physiotherapist in your area check

Related health tips:
Last update: 16/05/2013 12:38 • Previous update: 30/11/-0001 00:00