What is a Sprained Ankle?

Ankle sprains are a common injury often caused by “twisting” or “rolling” the ankle while playing a sport or simply by walking on uneven ground. The result can be sharp pain on the inside or outside of the ankle, swelling, bruising or inability to walk on that foot.

Three bones make up the ankle joint. For these bones to hold up the body’s weight, they require strong ligaments to hold them together. These ligaments prevent it from twisting too far inward (inversion) or outward (eversion). When we forcefully bend the ankle in these directions, we can tear the ligaments partially or fully.


Immediate treatment includes rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE). Take the time to relax. Recline with your foot elevated higher than your heart, wrapped in a tensor, with a bag of peas (or cold packs) on it. More severe sprains may require an air cast, splint or crutches.

Further treatment includes strengthening, stretching and proprioceptive exercises to get back on your feet or to your sport. It is important to progress exercises to slowly avoid further damage to the ligaments. A good rule of thumb is to progress to a new exercise only if it is pain-free. During sports physiotherapy or chiropractic treatment in Oshawa, your therapist will work with you to design exercises to build your muscles back slowly.

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