I think I have sprained my ankle…… what do I do?!

Ankle sprains are an extremely common presentation to an emergency department and it is not uncommon for someone to sprain the same ankle more than once. A sprained ankle occurs when you roll your ankle either inwards or outwards and overstretch the ligaments on the side of the ankle. This causes pain and often swelling and bruising.


When should I get an X-ray?

  • If you are unable to bear any weight on the ankle.
  • If it is very tender on the bony tip on the side of the ankle that you have injured.


What should I do immediately after the injury?

You should follow the RICER rules of any acute injury for the first 48 to 72 hours.

R = Rest. Stop the activity that you were doing. Continue to walk on it if you can do so with minimal discomfort.

I = Ice. Put an ice pack or frozen peas on the injured area for 20 minutes every 2 hours for the first 48 to 72 hours

C = Compression. Use a bandage or a tight sock to provide compression.

E = Elevation. Lie the foot on a pillow above the level of your heart to encourage blood flow back to your heart to reduce the swelling.

R = Referral. Book an appointment with one of our Physiotherapists for further assessment and a personalised rehabilitation program to get you back to activity as soon as possible and to help prevent reoccurrence.


To book an appointment call us on 8555 4099 or click here to book online.


Written by Luci Minogue (Physiotherapist)