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Best physiotherapy treatment for ankle sprains

Ankle sprains are frustrating injuries especially when they happen again and again becoming chronic.  Ankle sprains usually occur when you step on an uneven surface or are placed under extreme load and the ankle ligaments get stretched too far resulting in pain, swelling, bruising and reduced movement.

Ankle sprains can recover well if treated effectively and they can even be prevented for people with weak ankles or recurrent ankle sprains.  After the initial injury the best treatment is RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.  Some insider tips include getting the ankle strapped (better than compression/bandaging) and use Lectric soda crystals to reduce the swelling (will reduce the swelling better than an ice bucket or anti-inflammatories although these too should be included in treatment).  The next step of treatment is the most important.

Seek treatment with a physiotherapist within the first week.

Although ankle sprains can recover gradually it’s the immediate treatment which prevents any compensation techniques and reduces the risk of re-injury.

Physiotherapy will aim to:

  • Reduce the pain
  • Reduce the swelling
  • Improve ankle movement
  • Improve balance/proprioception
  • Provide guidance for return to sport/activity
  • Get you back to sport or your chosen activity quicker

Using various techniques including massage, joint mobilisation, exercises and a progressive return to sport program your physiotherapist can assist in getting your ankle back to normal as soon as possible.