Ankle Sprain

What is it?

The ankle joint is made up of 4 bones.  The shape of each bone helps to make the joint stable.  Stability around the joint is increased by the ligaments, which are bands of strong connective tissue that prevent unwanted movement.


When the ankle twists, the ligaments usually prevent the joint from moving too much.  An ankle sprain occurs when one of the supporting ligaments is stretched too far or too quickly causing the fibres of the ligament to tear and bleed into surrounding tissues which results in pain, swelling and tenderness.


Signs and Symptoms

•       Pain – at rest and/or with movement

•       Bruising

•       Swelling

•       Unable to put weight through the foot

Mechanism of Injury

Common Management Techniques

Initial Management

During the first 24-48 hours post injury, the R.I.C.E principle should be used to minimise swelling and increase the speed of recovery.


Some people suffer from recurring ankle sprains. This can be caused by a number of factors working in combination, including: