Ankle Sprains - Definition and Treatment image

An Anatomical Breakdown

The ankle is structurally made up of two joints the first of which is the Talo-Cural Joint which is formed between the Tibia/Fibula and the Talus bone. Here two actions or movements take place called dorsiflexion and plantarflexion. The second joint of the ankle is between the Talus and Calcaneus bone; these two bones connect to form the Subtalar joint. It is here where the side to side rotational movements take place those being inversion and eversion. The joints stability comes from the structural arrangement of the bones and the surrounding medial and lateral ligaments. It is on the outside of the foot (i.e. Lateral side) where 3 small ligaments can be found those being the Anterior Talofibular ligament, the Calconeofibular ligament, and the Posterior Talofibular ligament (Figure 1).

It has been suggested that sprains to these ligaments account for up to 80% of all ankle sprains with the most commonly injured ligament being the Anterior Talofibular ligament (Kadakia et al, 2003). There are a number of proven risk factors that have been found to increase the chance of suffering a sprain such as lack of strength and stability, poor balance/proprioception, sudden change in direction, and crucially a poorly rehabilitated previous ankle injury. An ankle sprain occurs when the ligaments surrounding the joint are stretched or even torn when the foot is forced into a position beyond its normal range of motion and as such depending on the severity can be graded in three stages (e.g. Grade I, Grade II, and Grade III).

Common Symptoms

Often you symptoms will depend on the severity of the injury so in theory you could suffer from any combination of the following:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising/Contusion
  • Reduced range of movement
  • Inability to weight bear
  • An audible "pop" (only in the most severe of cases!!!)

When and How Can It Be Treated

Here at The House Clinics Bristol we are a multi-disciplinary medical team made up of Chiropractic, Physiotherapy, Sports Therapy, Massage and Podiatry specialists all of which are best placed to work individually or together to treat and rehabilitate ankle sprains. In an ideal world the sooner you get professional advice for you sprained ankle the better, however if you are still suffering long term from rolling your ankle historically we can still help.

We have various different treatment forms that can be used from:

  • Prescribed exercises
  • Manual joint adjustment
  • Electrotherapy
  • Massage
  • Dry Needling
  • Taping
  • Supportive Orthotics


So if you have recently rolled your ankle during a sporting activity or even had a trip/fall as a result of walking on an uneven surface then get in touch. You may even find that the accident happened some time ago but has never felt 'right' since remember we're "here to help you feel better". Book online through our website or call us on 0117 9420200 to make an appointment. What are you waiting for we could put you on the path to being pain free...???




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