Work Men & WomenTradies have the highest number of injuries, musculoskeletal conditions, and other health and safety risks among any other profession.

With every step, the shock is absorbed by the feet, knees, hips and spine to decrease the force of impact. Wearing the correct footwear will reduce these forces further whilst not affecting the normal function of the foot. Wearing the right footwear for the job protects you from stress-related injury to the ankles, knees, hips and spine.

Types of Ankle Sprains

The most common type of sprain is the Lateral Ankle Sprain, otherwise known as inversion sprain (or lateral ligament sprain) wherein the foot turns inwards, damaging the ligaments on the outside of the ankle.

A sprain in which the ankle itself turns too far inwards (or Medial Ankle Sprain) is much rarer, often taking significant forces to do so. This sprain damages the ligaments on the inside of the ankle.

In addition to ligament damage, there may also be damage to tendons, bone and other joint tissues. This is why it is important to seek the help of a medical professional who will diagnose your ankle sprain. If necessary, an X-ray would be used, as small fractures (or avulsion fracture) can sprout up.

Grades of Ankle Sprains

Sprained ankles, as with all ligament sprains, are divided into grades 1-3 depending on their severity.

Grade 1 sprain:

  • Some stretching or perhaps minor tearing of the lateral ankle ligaments
  • Little or no joint instability
  • Mild pain
  • Mild swelling around the bone on the outside of the ankle
  • Some joint stiffness or difficulty walking or running.

Grade 2 sprain:

  • Moderate tearing of the ligament fibres
  • Some instability of the joint
  • Moderate to severe pain and difficulty walking
  • Swelling and stiffness in the ankle joint
  • Minor bruising may be evident.

Grade 3 sprain:

  • Total rupture of a ligament
  • Gross instability of the joint
  • Severe pain initially followed later by no pain
  • Severe swelling
  • Usually extensive bruising.

A person who just sprained his or her ankle should be immediately brought to a doctor.

However, as a matter of first aid, you may use the RICE method:

Rest: The patient should take it easy and avoid unnecessary movements.

Ice: As soon as possible, apply ice or a frozen gel pack wrapped in a damp towel. This helps to control bleeding and pain whilst reducing secondary tissue damage.

Compression: Firmly bandage the entire ankle and lower shin. This helps to control swelling.

Elevation: As much as possible, elevate the ankle to reduce swelling.