Text Box: Diary of an Ankle Sprain




Diary of an Ankle Sprain!

The "All sport Injuries way"

What is an ankle sprain?

An Ankle sprain is a stretched/stressed or torn ligament in the ankle from excessive force on the side of the foot like a twist etc.

What the symptoms are of an ankle sprain?

There are different grades or ankle sprains but mostly you will suffer a grade 1 sprain with no lasting damage (depending on the severity of the twist to the foot)

  • Swelling or bruising around the outer (very frequent) or inner ankle (less frequent).
  • Tenderness and pain on the ankle and side leg when weight is put on it...


What can you do to once you feel you have an ankle sprain?

  1. Rest. This injury needs rest if it is to heal initially. You must only do as much exercise as it will allow you. If in Pain stop sport immediately! Weight bearing exercise will make it worse
  2. Apply ice wrapped in a tea towel for 15 minutes around the swelling ankle as soon as possible, every hour. If it is bad, do this at least three times a day.
  3. Compress the injury as soon as possible to restrict swelling, with a strapping for example
  4. Elevate the area to increase drainage of scar tissue

See below diary for rehab and treating

Day 1.

Start by getting an ice pack and raise the ankle up on the coffee table or something similar and apply the ice pack directly to the injured area. (Put a light tea towel around the area first, NEVER apply ice directly to the skin). Keep the ice on for about 15 minutes and then give it a 5 minute rest and do this again about three times. Over the course of the evening apply the ice another 2 or 3 times for about 15 minutes at a time.

Day 2: The first thing you may notice is the ankle may be very stiff and a little sore. It may feel tight and difficult to move, this is all part of the healing process. Keep up with the ice, applying it 5 to 6 times throughout the day. Also try to keep off it as much as you can, not putting too much weight on it.

Day 3 Ankle may still be a bit stiff, but most of the soreness should have gone. Stay off it as much as possible and apply ice a couple of times throughout the course of the day.

Day 4 Ankle should feel good; still a little stiff but very little swelling or pain. It's time to move onto a few easy range-of-movement exercises and apply some light weight to the ankle. Start with a few gentle movements; pushing foot forward and stretching out the ankle; then pulling toes back towards shin; and then move onto some gentle circling motion as below.


Text Box: Ankle circles  passive 
                 Sit with one leg resting on the the knee of the other. 
                 Hold the ankle steady with one hand. 
                 Circle the foot around with the other. 
                 10 in each direction, repeat 2 times a day. 

 Assisted ankle circles


Text Box: Ankle circles - active
Circle the ankle around in as big a circle as possible. 
10 in each direction repeat 2 times a day. 

 Ankle circles


Later in the day, start to apply normal pressure to ankle by standing with equal weight on both feet, and by the end of the day try walking without favoring the good ankle.

A quick word of warning! Never, Never, Never do any activity that hurts the injured area. Of course you may feel some discomfort, but NEVER, NEVER push yourself to the point where you're feeling pain. Listen to your body and don't over do it at this early stage of the recovery.


Ankle may feel fine, ...but it's at this point that most people will make the mistake of thinking that everything is okay and discontinue any further treatment. Just because the injury feels better doesn't mean it has fully recovered and if you stop treatment now, you're at risk of continual re-injury until the complete rehabilitation has been successful.


(To see what's been going on under the surface, let's take a quick look at how damaged ligaments repair.

Scar tissue starts to form to help repair the damage and is made from a very brittle, inflexible fibrous material. This fibrous material binds itself to the damaged ligaments in an effort to draw the damaged fibers back together. What results is a bulky mass of fibrous scar tissue completely surrounding the injury site. In some cases it's even possible to see and feel this bulky mass under the skin.

When scar tissue forms around an injury site, it is never as strong as the ligaments it replaces. It also has a tendency to contract and deform the surrounding tissues, so not only is the strength of the tissue diminished, but flexibility of the tissue is also compromised.

So, how do you go about getting rid of that annoying scar tissue?)

 Heat and Massage

Throughout day 5 you can use a hot water bottle to apply heat to the injured area if needed, which helps by stimulating blood flow. Also you will need some light massage on the ankle and specifically at the injury site. Massage is a very important process that helps to breakdown, remove and align the scar tissue. Without massage very few sports injuries will heal completely.

Make a new or follow up appointment with me for this massage therapy at dave@allsportinjuries.ie call me on 087 9786814


Day 6: The ankle should feel good, so it's time to get into some serious rehabilitation. Start off with some easy mobility exercises and then follow them up with a good massage if possible. Finish off with some very gentle stretching exercises.

Later that evening give the ankle another massage while sitting in front of the TV, and finish with some more stretches.


Next Three days: Over the course of the next few days you need to massage the ankle another 2 or 3 times and keep some heat on it whenever at home. Constantly stretch the ankle and do some range-of-movement exercises, and gradually incorporate some weight bearing exercises like balancing on one leg, half squats and half lunges.


The following week: Go for an easy walk in the mornings and include a few stretches for the ankle and lower legs. Throughout the week continue with my range-of-movement and balancing exercises, and towards the end of the week start on some very easy plyometric exercises. These are explosive type exercises and include things like jumping, hoping, skipping and bounding..


Over the next month: Continue with all the exercises I've listed above, give the ankle the occasional massage and keep up with the stretching. Exercises like single leg plyometric drills, weight training exercises like squats, lunges, leg press and various forms of calf raises, plus start to run again


Eventually you need to do some strengthening exercises to stop any weakness causing a repeat injury.

These can be done by standing on a bed on the injured ankle and trying to balance the foot for a few minutes each day.

There are various other ways to get this done as well like using an elastic band around a chair /table leg and pulling the ankle across and back to strengthen it etc..


You will have an idea of how good it is when you can hop on it without any pain.

Feel pain? revert back to Plan B (You haven't got a plan B, ok well then your screwed :0)


Enjoy and stay safe !!