Sub-Acute Lateral Ankle sprain

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Lateral ankle sprains occur when you ‘roll over’ your ankle. The ankle is forced into a position that stresses the outside of the ankle joint.

These forces can cause damage to the ligaments and bones. We recommend getting an X-ray if you still have a lot of swelling, a deformity, or are unable to put weight through your foot. This is to check that there are no bone fractures.

However, it is common to have pain and some swelling in the ankle more than 4 weeks after the injury. This is particularly common if the sprain damaged more than one of the ligaments that support the ankle. It also occurs if the injury is not managed correctly. For example, if someone does too much on their ankle too early after the injury. This leads to ongoing inflammation in the ankle. On the other hand, being too cautious and not moving and strengthening the ankle can lead to ongoing pain and poor function.

The good news? A program to mobilise and strengthen your ankle is effective at reducing pain and improving function. The program in TrackActive Me will start you on these exercises. It will progress you through exercises to get you back on track.

During this time you will need to avoid activities that cause too much pain. For example if you play football, we recommend getting your ankle strong and pain-free before you return. In the meantime, make sure you keep active with other exercises and activities that don’t cause you pain. You can also choose from our library of pilates, stretching and upper body strengthening programs. Just select ‘Stay Strong and Healthy’ in the TrackActive Me chat feature.

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