Sprained Ankle: How to Treat? A Comprehensive Guide

We all have had our fair share of ankle sprains, and they can be a real pain in the foot. A sprained ankle is one of the most common injuries among athletes, dancers, and people who lead an active lifestyle. It can happen to anyone, anywhere, and at any time.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore everything there is to know about sprained ankles – what it is, the causes and symptoms, when to seek medical attention, how to diagnose it, and the treatment approaches. So read on.

Understanding Sprained Ankle

Sprained ankle: how to treat

What is a Sprained Ankle?

A sprained ankle occurs when the ligaments in your ankle are stretched or torn. It is a common injury that can happen during physical activity, exercising, stretching, or accidents. Symptoms include pain, swelling, reduced range-of-motion, and difficulty walking.

Treatment includes rest, ice compression with an ice pack, and elevation (RICE) and may require medical attention based on severity and the amount of swelling.

Categories of Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains can be categorized into three levels of severity: mild, moderate, and severe. Mild sprains occur when the ligaments in the ankle are slightly stretched or torn, while severe sprains involve complete tearing of the ligaments.

Causes and Symptoms of Ankle Sprain

Common Causes of Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains often occur due to sudden twists or rolls during physical activity. Common culprits include falls, improper footwear, long-term problems in the foot, and uneven surfaces. Athletes, especially those in sports requiring quick changes of direction, are prone to sprains.

Weak ankles and prior injuries increase the likelihood. Understanding the causes helps prevent future injuries and promote proper treatment.

Recognising Symptoms of Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains can cause various symptoms such as pain, swelling, tenderness, and difficulty bearing weight. Moreover, a popping sound or sensation during the injury is also common. The severity of these symptoms may vary depending on the extent of the sprain.

When to Seek Medical Attention?

If you are unable to put weight on your ankle or experience severe pain, it’s important to seek medical attention. Significant swelling, bruising, instability, immobilization, or a popping sound during the injury also warrant medical attention. Numbness or tingling in your foot or toes should not be ignored. Seek help if symptoms do not improve within a few days.

Diagnosing an Ankle Sprain

To diagnose an ankle sprain, it’s essential to recognize the symptoms associated with this injury. These symptoms include pain, swelling, and limited mobility. It’s crucial to visit a medical professional who can provide an accurate diagnosis and assess the severity of the sprain.

Ultrasound and diagnostic imaging tests such as X-rays or MRIs may be necessary to rule out any fractures or other injuries. Once diagnosed, treating the sprained ankle involves following the R.I.C.E. method – rest, ice, compression, and elevation. In some cases, physiotherapy or rehabilitation exercises may be recommended to strengthen the ankle and prevent future injuries.

Treatment Approaches for Ankle Sprains

Physiotherapy in London

To effectively treat ankle sprains, it is important to follow specific approaches. Resting the affected ankle, using crutches, and minimising physical activity allows for healing. Applying ice also helps reduce pain and swelling. Compression with bandages or braces also aids in the reduction of swelling and provides support.

Elevating the ankle above the level of your heart further reduces swelling and improves blood flow. Over-the-counter painkillers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can manage pain and inflammation. Additionally, physiotherapy exercises restore flexibility, strength, and balance in the injured ankle.

Nonsurgical Treatments and Home Remedies

To treat a sprained ankle without surgery, there are several nonsurgical treatments and home remedies that can be effective. Resting the ankle and elevating it can help reduce swelling and pain. Applying ice to the affected area can also provide relief.

Compression wraps can stabilize the ankle, while over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen, paracetamol, and naproxen can alleviate discomfort. Physiotherapy exercises can aid in restoring range of motion and strength to the ankle. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair ligament damage.

When is Surgical Treatment Required?

Surgical treatment for an ankle sprain is typically rare. However, it may be necessary if the sprain is severe and non-surgical treatments are not effective. In such cases, surgery may involve repairing or reconstructing ligaments or bones in the ankle. Consult with a healthcare professional to determine if surgical treatment is necessary for your sprained ankle.

Rehabilitation and Physiotherapy for Ankle Sprains

Rehabilitation and physiotherapy are essential in reducing pain, inflammation, and stiffness following an ankle sprain. A customized treatment plan created by a physiotherapist caters to the severity of the sprain and individual needs. This plan may include exercises to strengthen the ankle, improve flexibility, and restore balance.

Additional therapies such as massage or electrical stimulation may also be used for healing and pain reduction. To ensure proper recovery, it is crucial to adhere to the instructions given by the physiotherapist and attend all scheduled sessions.

One Body LDN offers physiotherapy in London to help individuals recover from ankle sprains. Our team of skilled physiotherapists is dedicated to providing personalized care and effective treatment options.

At One Body LDN, we understand the importance of a comprehensive rehabilitation program after an ankle sprain. Our physiotherapists will assess your condition, taking into account the severity of the sprain and any underlying factors that may affect your recovery. With this information, they will create a customized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.

Can Ankle Sprains be Prevented?

Preventing ankle sprains is possible by taking precautions. Wearing proper footwear and ankle supports, along with strengthening exercises for the ankle and surrounding muscles, can help reduce the risk. Avoiding uneven surfaces and warming up before physical activity further decreases the chances of sprains.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some common causes of a sprained ankle?

Sprained ankles are often caused by twisting or rolling the ankle during physical activities like walking, running, or playing sports. Other factors like wearing improper footwear and encountering uneven surfaces can also increase the risk. Proper warm-up exercises and strengthening routines can help prevent sprained ankles.

How can I tell if my ankle is sprained or just sore?

Signs of a sprained ankle include increased pain compared to a sore ankle, swelling, bruising, and difficulty walking or putting weight on the affected ankle. If you suspect a sprain, consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Where can I find physiotherapy near me?

To find physiotherapy near you, search online directories or use search engines. Ask your doctor for recommendations, seek referrals from friends or family who have had physiotherapy treatment, or check if local hospitals or sports centers offer these services. Remember to consider the convenience and reputation of the clinic before making a decision.

Where can I find sports massage near me?

If you’re looking for a sports massage near your location, there are several options available. You can search online for sports massage therapists in your area or check with local sports medicine clinics, physiotherapy offices, and fitness centers. Asking for recommendations from friends or family who have received sports massages is also a good idea. For sports massage in London, One Body LDN is a highly recommended option. They offer specialized sports massages to help athletes recover from injuries and improve performance.


In conclusion, treating a sprained ankle requires a comprehensive approach that includes understanding the injury, recognizing the symptoms, seeking proper medical attention, and following the recommended treatment approaches.

Depending on the severity of the sprain, nonsurgical treatments and home remedies may be sufficient, while in some cases, surgical intervention may be necessary. Recovery from a sprained ankle involves rehabilitation and physiotherapy to regain strength and mobility.

If you experience frequent ankle sprains, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional to address any underlying issues.

If you are searching “private physio near me” / “Sports massage near me” / “Deep tissue massage near me” / “pain treatment near me”, have private health insurance physiotherapy cover and are looking for the best private healthcare in London – One Body LDN is your answer.

We are approved by ALL major private health insurance physiotherapy companies:

Axa PPP | Axa PPP International | Bupa Physiotherapy | Bupa International | Vitality (formerly Pru Health) | Vitality Health International | Nuffield Health | Aviva | Cigna | Cigna International | WPA | Aetna | Aetna International | Allianz | Allianz Worldwide Care | Allianz International | Axa Private Health Insurance | Healix | Healix Global | Health Shield | Simplyhealth | Paycare | BHSF | The PHC | Saga | The Exeter | Freedom Healthcare | Axa Corporate Health Insurance

Our approved physiotherapists are ready to take care of you!

Contact us today to learn more!


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