How to Treat a Sprained Ankle


Sprained ankles are one of the most common injuries we treat at Erko Physio. They can happen at any time: during a walk, whilst out on a run or as a consequence of playing sport on the weekend. Sprained ankles most commonly occur when a change in direction is required by the exercise being undertaken. Jumping, turning and twisting in a direction other than that the athlete started moving in can result in a sprained ankle. The severity of a sprained ankle varies, as do the treatment methods required to heal one when it occurs. 

The Anatomy of a Sprained Ankle 

The ankle joint is a hinge joint formed between the shin bones (tibia and fibula) and the talus (the bone at the top of the foot). This hinge joint has the capability of both pointing your toes upwards and pointing them towards the floor. The joint is stabilised by a few ligaments on the outside of the ankle: the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL), calcaneofibular ligament (CFL) and the posterior talofibular ligament (PTFL). Out of these 2 ligaments, the ATFL is the most commonly sprained ligament of the ankle: accounting for more than 80% of all ankle sprains. 

Symptoms of a Sprained Ankle

The symptoms of a sprained ankle will feel similar to a fracture. If you sprain your ankle, you will experience: 

  • Pain 
  • Swelling 
  • Bruising 
  • Inability to walk or weight bear on the injured ankle 
  • Stiffness 

There are several classifications used to identify the severity of a sprained ankle. Grade 1, 2 and 3 are used to determine whether the injury is a minor strain, an incomplete tear of the ligament or a total tear of the ligament, respectively. If you think you have sprained an ankle, it is important that you see a trained physiotherapist immediately so that they can classify the severity of your injury and provide appropriate treatment right away. 

Treating a Sprained Ankle

Grade 1 ankle sprains can be treated with rest, ice, compression and elevation (the RICE method). Grade 2 ankle sprains can be treated with the RICE method as well as a splint or CAMboot – used to isolate the ligament for up to four weeks. Grade 3 ankle sprains require utilisation of the RICE method, a splint or CAMboot and anti-inflammatory drugs. Surgery may even be recommended on younger patients because recovery time takes so long. 

Call Erko Physio if you Sprain Your Ankle

With over 10 years of experience treating ankle injuries, Erko Physio are the local experts when it comes to treating sprained ankles. Our Alexandria physiotherapy is easily accessible from Erskineville, Newtown and Marrickville too. If you need an ankle seen to in Alexandria, Newtown or Marrickville, trust the experts at Erko Physio to diagnose your injury and provide appropriate treatment right away.