Ankle problems are very frequent and are normally caused by injuries – such as tripping or going over on your ankle.

It’s normal to have pain, swelling and bruising around the ankle.

Muscle weakness around the ankle can create ankle issues to flare-up now and again.

Keeping active

Keeping active is a vital part of your treatment and recovery and is the single best thing that can be done for your health.

Being physically active throughout your recovery can:

  • stop a recurrence of the problem
  • maintain your current levels of fitness – even if you have to modify what you normally do, any activity is better than none
  • keep your other muscles and joints strong and flexible
  • avoid weight gain

How about resting or moving

Within the first 24 to 48 hours after an ankle injury you should endeavor to:

  • rest your ankle but avoid long spells of not moving at all
  • move your ankle gently for 10 to 20 seconds every hour whenever you are awake

After 48 hours:

  • Endeavor to use your leg more – exercise really assist your ankle and can relieve pain
  • Do whatever you normally would and stay at, or return to work – this is vital and is the best way to get better
  • When walking upstairs, lower the strain on your ankle by leading with your good leg – if there’s a handrail, use it
  • When going downstairs, lower the strain on your ankleby leading with your problem leg – if there’s a handrail, use it

Stay away from sports or heavy lifting until you have less discomfort and good movement.

How about sports?

You should take your time before partaking in any sports after an ankle problem. If you take part in sports too soon you could be injured again.

Before going sporting, you should:

  • have no swelling
  • be able to move your ankle normally through full range of movement
  • have full or close to full strength
  • be able to take your weight through your leg without limping

Remember to stretch and warm up fully before sports.

Can my ankle issue cause trouble anywhere else?

You may feel some pain in the muscles around your calf and foot. This should improve as your ankle issues gets better over the next 6 weeks.

Ankle issues can also cause limping. If the limp is severe, using a walking stick on the opposite side to your ankle problem may assist.

Do I need to see my doctor?

You don’t normally require to see your doctor if you follow the right advice and take the right medication.

Your ankle problem should improve over the next 6 weeks.

If you noticed any of the following, you should speak to your caregiver as soon as possible:

  • Your ankle is misshapen
  • A hot, swollen and tender calf
  • Difficulty putting weight on your leg
  • Pain that worsens
  • Your ankle issue hasn’t improved within 6 weeks


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