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Minimising the impact of injuries

Ankle and knee sprains are common occurrence for sportsman of any level. If managed and treated correctly from the outset they do not need to be injuries that last for months and finishes your footballing career before it begins!


Protection Rest Ice Compression ElevationImportant within the first 72 hours

Protection of the damaged ligament is important in the initial few days. This can be done through using crutches, strapping or in extreme cases using a monnboot.

Rest from the sport or activity is required to allow the ligament to heal and to allow you to control the swelling.

Ice every 2 hours for 10 mins in the initial stages. This can help with both pain and swelling. Ensure that the ice is wrapped in a damp cloth and if you do get an ice burn seek medical attention.

Compression can help manage the swelling. As your ligament recovers the need for compression of any kind will decrease.

Elevation is one of the most important activities that you can do to ensure that you make a speedy recovery from a ligament sprain. Swelling hampers rehabilitation and can inhibit a lot of the muscles that are needed to help off load the ligament.

Following the first 72 hours gentle active movement of the affected joint can be helpful. Ensure that the movement is painfree and increase range as pain allows.

Physiotherapy guided rehabilitation can aid your return to sport and can prevent re-injury of the area through regaining full range in the joint, strengthening up the surrounding muscles and improving your proprioception (or balance) which is often lost following a ligament sprain.

Written by physiotherapist Claire Laurie. To book an appointment with Claire or any of the other physiotherapists, click below.