I twisted my ankle playing rugby, what can I do to help it recover?

Apr 18, 2019

Ankle / ATFL Sprain

1 in 7 rugby injuries are ankle sprains. We also see a lot of netball players and runners who go over on their ankles too. Anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL) sprain is an injury to the ligament which crosses the outside (lateral) of the ankle.  This is also known as an ankle inversion injury, this is because the ligament is injured when the foot turns in (inversion).

We will be offering some advice, exercises and stretches which are good for those suffering with ankle pains/sprains.

Here is a testimonial from one of our clients who sprained their ankle;

“I would like to thank Physio-logical for their first class treatment I have had over the past few months, after spraining my ankle playing netball. The speed in which you got me back on the netball court playing was amazing. The treatment and advice on strengthening exercises have helped greatly in aiding my healing and preventing recurrence. I would definitely recommend Physio-logical to anyone looking to rehabilitate a sports injury”. Mrs W

Other symptoms of ankles sprains include swelling, bruising and loss of movement.

Ankle sprains are common and do re-occur if you do not rehabilitate them fully following injury. In sports such as rugby, basketball, football, netball and running, recurrence rates have been reported to exceed 70%.

Hands on physiotherapy treatments including; sports massage, frictions, mobilisation, manipulation, ultrasound, balance (proprioceptive) re-education, combined with stretching and strengthening exercises is an effective treatment for ankle pain/sprains.

Please be aware of your body and take advice from your GP before exercising or send an email to ( for advice and guidance.

Exercises for a Twisted Ankle

Ankle Range of Motion

  • Pretend you are writing each of the letters of the alphabet with your foot
  • This will move your ankle in all directions
  • Do this 3 x day

Mini Squats

  • In standing, with feet hip width apart
  • Slowly bend at your hips until your feel a pull in your calf muscles or at the front of your ankles
  • Make sure your back is kept straight
  • Hold the squat for 30 seconds
  • Repeat 2-3 times, 2 x day


Heel Raises

  • Standing
  • Push up onto your toes, hold for 5 seconds, repeat until your muscles feel tired daily

Single Leg Stand

  • Stand without any support and balance on your injured leg
  • Begin with your eyes open then progress to your eyes closed
  • Hold the single-leg position for 15-30 seconds. Repeat 3 times, 3 x day

Ankle sprains respond really well to treatment with a physio, sports therapist or sports massage therapist, so if you are suffering from a reoccurring ankle sprain or have recently sprained your ankle then please get in contact with us via, 07835 712306 or book online as we can help you improve your strengthen and balance (proprioception) to reduce the risk of re spraining your ankle.

Please also see our YouTube channel where we demonstrate some of these exercises, please subscribe to our channel as we are always adding new videos for different injuries.

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