Ankle Sprains

Ankle Sprains

The foot has many ligaments that support the ankle during weight-bearing activities. They attach to the many bones in the foot together to create stability. It is possible to sprain the medial (inside) or lateral (outside) ligaments, depending on the mechanism of injury. However, lateral sprains are more common, which can occur in multidirectional sports like football, netball and tennis, due to the rapid change of direction required.

Classification of Ankle Sprains:

• Grade I Sprain: a small number of ligament fibres are torn, resulting in some pain, but allowing full function.

• Grade II Sprain: a significant number of ligament fibres are torn with moderate loss of function and some degree of joint instability.

• Grade III Sprain: all lateral ligament fibres are ruptured, resulting in major loss of function and significant joint instability.

Depending on the grade of the sprain, the symptoms may differ slightly. A sprain can present with swelling and bruising around the area with some tracking into the foot or up the shin, pain on palpation or range of motion or pain on weight-bearing and a feeling of instability.

If you think you have sprained your ankle, use ice immediately and keep the foot raised. Sprains will then need some manual therapy to reduce swelling and bruising and to encourage repair, followed by rehabilitation to strengthen the weakened structure and regain stability to fully return to activity.

(The list of conditions given above and subsequent explanations are intended as a general guide and should not be considered a replacement for a full medical examination. Furthermore, we do not purport to treat all the conditions listed. Should you wish to discuss any of these conditions with our chiropractors, please do not hesitate to phone the clinic on 020 7374 2272 or email