Sprained ankle treatment | City Physio Adelaide

Ankle sprain while running needing physiotherapy treatment

At City Physiotherapy, we often see patients who come in with rolled, twisted, or sprained ankles. Whether you’re an avid athlete, a fitness enthusiast, or simply navigating the daily hustle of life, ankle injuries can occur unexpectedly. 

From the sports field to the gym floor or even a misstep on uneven terrain, these incidents can happen to anyone, anywhere. 

Ankle sprains are a common injury, with many of our patients telling us they’ve sprained, twisted, and rolled their ankles on one or more occasions in the past. 

Despite its common occurrence, a twisted, sprained, or rolled ankle shouldn’t be dismissed as a minor inconvenience. 

Instead, it deserves prompt attention and proper care to ensure optimal recovery and prevent potential long-term complications. 

Our goal is to empower you with the knowledge and treatment to navigate through this common injury with confidence and resilience.

How long does a sprained ankle take to heal?

The journey to recovery from a sprained, rolled, or twisted ankle varies depending on the severity of the injury. At City Physiotherapy, we emphasise the importance of understanding all aspects of the healing process to ensure optimal recovery and prevent future complications.

For less severe ankle sprains, patients can typically expect to recover from the injury within approximately 3 to 6 weeks

However, recovery goes beyond the mere absence of pain. Your injured ankle should feel and function as well as, if not better than, it did before the injury occurred.

So, what does complete recovery entail? It means being pain-free during daily activities, running, and sports. It means experiencing no swelling, stiffness, or sensation of instability in the ankle. Moreover, it means having regained good balance on one leg, even when tested with eyes closed.

But achieving this level of recovery requires more than just time; it demands proper care and attention.

Proper rehabilitation, including targeted exercises, stretching, and strengthening routines, is crucial to facilitate healing and restore optimal function to the injured ankle.

However, not all recoveries follow a straightforward trajectory. If you find yourself still experiencing ankle pain even during periods of rest, or if you’ve re-sprained your ankle within three months of the initial injury, your recovery timeline may extend to 6 months or more, possibly even up to a year or beyond.

If you’re grappling with lingering ankle issues months after an injury, you may be wondering what steps to take next. Rest assured, City Physiotherapy is here to guide you through your recovery journey with personalised care and expert guidance.

Our team of experienced physiotherapists will assess your condition thoroughly, develop a tailored treatment plan, and provide ongoing support to help you regain strength, mobility, and confidence in your ankle.

Severe ankle sprains can lead to ruptured ligaments, torn tendons, fractured bones, or dislocated joints

How do I know if my ankle sprain is serious?

When it comes to ankle sprains, understanding the severity of your injury is crucial for proper treatment and recovery. 

Here are some key indicators to help you determine if your ankle sprain requires medical attention:


The level of swelling in your foot and ankle can provide valuable insights into the extent of your injury. Generally, if you experience significant swelling that develops rapidly, it may indicate more severe damage such as ruptured ligaments, torn tendons, fractured bones, or dislocated joints. 


Observing bruising around the ankle area following an injury is another telltale sign of potential tissue damage. The presence of black, blue, red, or other discolourations indicates bleeding beneath the skin, suggesting injury to underlying structures such as ligaments, tendons, or bones. 

While the specific nature of the damage may not be immediately apparent, the presence of bruising underscores the need for physiotherapy evaluation and intervention to address the injury effectively.

Difficulty standing

In most cases of ankle sprains, individuals can bear weight on the affected foot, albeit with varying degrees of discomfort. However, if you find it exceedingly painful or impossible to bear any weight on the injured ankle, it may indicate a more serious injury requiring urgent medical attention.

The inability to bear weight or take even a few steps warrants immediate assessment to rule out fractures, severe ligament tears, or other significant structural damage.

At City Physiotherapy, our priority is your well-being and timely recovery. If you’re experiencing symptoms suggestive of a serious ankle sprain, our expert team is here to provide personalised assessment and treatment. 

We can also facilitate direct referral to a radiology clinic for imaging studies to accurately determine the extent of your injury. With our comprehensive approach to care, including hands-on treatment and targeted rehabilitation exercises, we’re committed to guiding you through a smooth recovery journey and helping you regain optimal function in your ankle.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for assistance in managing your twisted, sprained, or rolled ankle effectively.

Will a sprained ankle heal on its own?

While ankle sprains are common occurrences, dismissing them as minor injuries that will heal on their own can be a costly mistake. Without proper treatment and rehabilitation, the risk of recurrent sprains in the same spot significantly increases.

An untreated ankle sprain not only prolongs the healing process but also leaves the joint vulnerable to future injuries. Without targeted rehabilitation and post-injury strengthening exercises, the ankle may fail to regain its full stability and function, predisposing you to further sprains and potential complications.

At City Physiotherapy, we emphasise the importance of proactive intervention and comprehensive rehabilitation to ensure optimal healing and reduce the risk of recurrent ankle sprains. 

Our tailored treatment plans address not only the acute injury but also focus on strengthening and stabilising the ankle to restore full functionality and prevent future incidents.

Don’t let an untreated ankle sprain jeopardise your long-term mobility and well-being—seek timely care and guidance to facilitate a successful recovery.

Physiotherapy for sprained ankles

At City Physiotherapy, we understand the importance of targeted and individualised care when it comes to treating ankle sprains. Our comprehensive approach to physiotherapy ensures that each patient receives the specialised attention and support they need to recover effectively. Our physiotherapy treatment for ankle sprains include:

Ankle taping

Ankle taping is a valuable technique utilised following a sprain to facilitate an early return to walking or running while minimising the risk of exacerbating the injury.

This method expedites healing and mitigates complications such as joint stiffness and loss of strength. By limiting and restricting the range of movement around the injured joint, ankle taping helps control pain and reduces unwanted movement. It reinforces the joint and provides additional support to the affected structures, aiding in the restoration of normal function.

Hands-on Physiotherapy

Hands-on physiotherapy, also known as manual therapy, involves using therapeutic touch to address aches, pains, and injuries. Our physiotherapists employ various manual techniques, including pressure and movement, to assess and treat ankle sprains effectively.

During the examination, specific movements are evaluated to determine factors such as range of motion, strength, ligament, and joint stability, swelling, tenderness to touch, and reflexes. Hands-on manual therapy in the early stages post-injury can alleviate stiffness and promote faster recovery.

By addressing the core problem and considering individual factors such as occupation and sports involvement, our physiotherapists tailor treatment plans to meet your unique needs.

Strength training

Strength training plays a crucial role in preventing the recurrence of ankle sprains and enhancing overall stability and function. Initiation of a strength training program early in the rehabilitation process reduces ankle instability and re-injury rates.

Strength training is a major component of our sports physiotherapy and injury rehab treatment, focusing not only on recovery but also on injury prevention. By targeting areas that may have been neglected in regular training routines and addressing compensatory movement patterns, we help minimise the risk of secondary injuries. 

At City Physiotherapy, our physiotherapists design individualised strength training programs to suit your specific needs and promote optimal recovery. Don’t delay seeking treatment for an ankle sprain—early intervention is key to a successful and speedy return to normal activity.

Strength training physiotherapy plays a crucial role in preventing the recurrence of ankle sprains

Our treatment process

  • Observation and diagnosis: We begin by assessing your movements and thoroughly evaluating the ankle injury. Our experienced physiotherapists diagnose the sprain’s extent and if necessary, can refer you for a radiology scan in more severe cases.
  • Guidance and support: We offer valuable advice on activities to avoid and actions to promote optimal healing, empowering you with confidence and ease through the initial recovery phase.
  • Treatment options: Our tailored techniques, including hands-on physiotherapy, dry needling, strapping, and bracing, alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and foster healing specific to your sprained ankle needs.
  • Rehabilitation and strengthening: Targeted exercises improve proprioception, balance, and muscle strength around the ankle, reducing the risk of re-injury and enhancing recovery.
  • Comprehensive care: We address pain, inflammation, range of motion, and muscle control, guiding you through each step of recovery with personalised care and support.

Adelaide CBD Physiotherapy: Comprehensive care for ankle sprains

At City Physiotherapy, our commitment to comprehensive care extends beyond addressing immediate discomfort – it encompasses a holistic approach to your entire well-being. Our ankle sprain treatment considers not only the immediate injury but also the interconnected factors that shape your experience such as sleep positions, diet, lifestyle modifications, breathing patterns, and stress management.

By understanding the complexities of ankle sprains and their underlying causes, we develop personalised treatment plans tailored to each individual’s unique needs. Whether it’s through hands-on physiotherapy, strength training, ankle taping, or a combination of modalities, our goal remains the same: to empower patients to regain control over their health and lead active, pain-free lives.

Our team at City Physiotherapy is dedicated to providing comprehensive care for ankle sprains, offering expertise, support, and guidance at every step of the recovery journey. If you’re experiencing discomfort or feeling limited by an ankle sprain, take the first step towards a comfortable next step by scheduling an appointment with us today.

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