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I Have Just Rolled My Ankle…What Do I Do Now?

Have you rolled your ankle and are confused on what you need to do for it? 

Are you asking Doctor Google what you should do? Chances are the information you get from the internet will freak you out into thinking you need surgery when more than likely this is not the case. 

Are you simply just puzzled and don’t know what to do?

If this is you, keep reading on!

What is an ankle sprain?

An ankle sprain occurs when you roll your ankle inwards or outwards, resulting in overstretching and injury to the ligaments on either the inside or outside of your ankle. The most common mechanism that results in an ankle sprain is rolling your ankle inwards, resulting in injury to the ligaments on the outside of your ankle. The severity of ankle sprains ranges from a mild “rolled ankle” to more severe injury resulting in ligament tears and sometimes even fractured bones.

What symptoms should I expect if I sprain my ankle?

Depending on the severity of injury, the symptoms that you experience may vary. Common symptoms of an ankle sprain include swelling, bruising and pain on the inside or outside of your ankle. 

In some cases, you may find it difficult to walk or weight bear on the injured side. In more severe cases, the use of crutches and/or a walking boot may be necessary to mobilise. 

What should I do now?

First and foremost, don’t freak out. 

Your first point of action should be to make an appointment to see a physiotherapist. 

Most people think that they need to go to their GP. In most cases, your GP will tell you that you need to rest it (please don’t do this! The amount of times people are given this advice still amazes me). Or even worse, your GP will tell you that you need to be placed in a walking boot (unless you have a fractured bone in your foot or ankle, then you DO NOT want to be wearing a walking boot!).

A physiotherapist will be your best friend after you have rolled your ankle to give you the best advice on what you need to do. And better yet, it will be specifically tailored to your situation.

you need physio

How is an ankle sprain diagnosed?

An ankle sprain can be diagnosed by your physiotherapist through a comprehensive clinical assessment. This is commonly diagnosed without the need for scanning or imaging.
In some cases, your physiotherapist may refer you to get an X-ray or MRI to exclude specific bone or ligament injuries.

How is an ankle sprain treated?

Treatment of a sprained ankle is crucial in reducing pain and preventing re-injury. 

Treatment of a sprained ankle includes, soft tissue therapy, exercises, sport specific drills, taping and education/advice.

Goals of treatment:

  • Reduce pain
  • Restore range of motion
  • Increase ankle stability
  • Increase muscle strength
  • Restore normal walking gait
  • Restore normal daily function
  • Return to sport/work/activity


Does this sound relevant to you? If so, book in with one of our physiotherapists ASAP!

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