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So You've Sprained Your Ankle Again? When Is It Absolutely Necessary To See A Physio!

A sprained ankle is rarely ever a simple injury. Educate yourself on when you should get your ankle assessed by a rehab specialist.

"40% of individuals develop chronic ankle instability within the 1st year following an ankle sprain."

Ankle instability includes feelings of giving-way and recurrent sprains. The human body is amazing at healing itself, however on occasion it requires a helping hand. The list below identifies the key signs that you should look out for following an ankle sprain. If any of these signs are present, then call us today to get to the bottom of your pain. We are injury rehab specialists and experts in assessing and diagnosing ankle injuries.

Athlete with an ACL Injury


If You Have Any Of The Following Signs, See A Physio Today And Get To The Bottom Of Your Ankle Pain!

#1 If Your Ankle Has Swollen Up Like A Balloon!

If your ankle looks or feels puffy and swollen (see picture below), this indicates that there is excess fluid in the joint. This is NOT normal. Swelling can be a result of injury to the ligaments, the capsule or small ankle / foot fractures (a broken bone is the same thing as a fracture). Small avulsion fractures can be subtle, but it's important not to miss them, as they're managed differently to just sprained ligaments. Sometimes we may refer you for imaging (e.g. X-ray) to help rule out a fracture. The bottom line is, get your ankle assessed by a rehab specialist to determine which structure(s) you've injured.

#2 If You Can't Walk Properly!

Reasons why you may not be walking normally following an ankle sprain, include :

  • there is swelling in the joint, taking up space that is needed for normal ankle motion

  • you have a small fracture (that has been missed)

  • you are in the initial stage of injury (i.e. the inflammatory phase), which can last 3-5 days. Pain levels can be higher during this phase.

Everyone is different, so finding out what is stopping you walking normally is key. We use the Ottawa Ankle Rules to determine if you need an X-ray or not.

#3 If Your Pain Isn't Improving, As Expected!

Most minor ankle injuries should settle down given the appropriate management. However, some minor injuries and most traumatic ankle injuries can lead to longer term pain and mobility issues. If your ankle pain hasn't settled down as you expected, you need to find out why. Get your injury assessed today.

#4 If Your Ankle Keeps Giving Way!

Episodes of instability in the ankle following a sprain are common, and can be due to inhibition of muscles around the joint. If you've had multiple small ankle sprains over the years and you keep spraining them very easily, then this needs to be looked at. Ankle mobility can often be restricted following multiple sprains, which can have a knock on effect up and down the chain. You most likely will require a solid progressive strengthening and stability programme.

Fact: We have 28 bones and 33 joints in each foot & ankle. Quite often these joints and bones can become stiff following an ankle sprain, as we are walking differently and not moving our ankle as normal due to pain. A rehab specialist will help you to undo any compensations that you develop, by comprehensively assessing how you walk and move.


What To Expect From Us

A Comprehensive Injury Assessment

A Diagnosis

A Structured Rehab Plan

Physio, Gym & Pitch-Based Running Sessions

Full Body Analysis

Return To Sport Testing


What Our Clients Say

"I saw Declan for an ankle / foot injury that was mis-diagnosed elsewhere a few times. Declan diagnosed it, got an MRI, did progressive strengthening and now I'm back running stronger than I've felt for years and truly believing I can reach my best and beyond. I cannot recommend Declan enough for foot and ankle injuries."


If you would like to know more or you have any questions, drop me an email at Alternatively, book online following the link below. I would love to take you through your rehab journey and back to the sport that you love playing.

Start your rehab today!


References / Images:

Pascale Jonckheer, Tine Willems, Roel De Ridder, Dominique Paulus, Kirsten Holdt Henningsen, Lorena San Miguel, An De Sutter & Philip Roosen (2016). Evaluating fracture risk in acute ankle sprains: Any news since the Ottawa Ankle Rules? A systematic review, European Journal of General Practice,22:1,31-41,DOI: 10.3109/13814788.2015.1102881

<a href="">Free Stock photos by Vecteezy</a>


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