A sprained ankle is one of the most common injuries in football. It refers to soft tissue damage (mainly ligaments) around the ankle, usually caused when the ankle is twisted inwards
As well as damage to the ligaments, the capsule which surrounds the ankle joint can also be damaged. The damage causes bleeding within the tissues, which produces a swollen ankle and ankle pain.
Taping and bracing the ankle can help to reduce the risk of ankle sprains. Previous research has shown the injury incidence in people with taped ankles was 4.9 ankle sprains per 1000 participant games, compared with 2.6 ankle sprains per 1000 participant games in subjects wearing ankle braces. This compared with 32.8 ankle sprains per 1000 participant games in subjects that had no taping or bracing.
Rehabilitation with a chartered physiotherapist significantly improves the level of ankle function. Wobble board training is designed to assist the re-education of balance and proprioception. Previous research has suggested that patients with ankle instability who underwent wobble board training experienced significantly fewer recurrent sprains during a follow-up period than those who did not follow the training programme.
The use of an Ankle Brace is a convenient alternative to taping the ankle.
In the first few days following an ankle sprain it is important to follow the PRICE protocol protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation (never apply ice directly to the skin). The Aircast Ankle Cryocuff is the most effective method of providing ice therapy and is the professional's choice. It can provide continuous ice cold water and compression for 6 hours and significantly reduce ankle pain and swelling.
Alternatively if you have to apply ice at home, the use of an Ice Bag is recommended. This is a safe method of ice application to avoid the risk of an ice burn.