Ankle injuries in Soccer – Treatment and how it happens

Dr. Jeanne van Straten

M.Tech Chiropractic, (UJ).

Patients are coming into our offices with soccer-related injuries, such as an ankle sprain and a medial sprain. These injuries are usually limited to the legs, but can also be caused by overuse or direct contact with the muscles, ligaments, or tendons.

Ankle injuries

The most common soccer injury is an ankle sprain. However, there have been some knee injuries when two players collided or accidental tripping.

Ankle sprain

Ankle sprains occur when the ankle ligaments become pulled or stretched by force applied to the ankle in an unusual position. This can happen on the medial, inside or outside of your ankle. It is also known as the minor. You can treat it at home using rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medication. Moderate (Grade 2-sprain), or severe(Grade 3-sprain). These are the conditions where ligaments or ankle ligaments have been torn. This can cause severe swelling and bruising, and it will be difficult to walk or place weight on your leg. Medical intervention is necessary for Grade 3 sprains.

How to treat an ankle injury

It is important to immediately rest your ankle after an ankle injury, or ankle sprain. This will help reduce inflammation.

To make it easy to remember, the pseudonym RICE was used.

R: Do not walk or stand on your ankle.

I: Ice the ankle to reduce swelling

C: To immobilise the area, compress the ankle with a strap (not too tight).

E: Lift the ankle up to the level of the heart for drainage. This will help in the first two days.

Crutches are recommended for Grade 2 and 3 sprains to avoid further injury to the ankle.

Time for healing

A Grade 1 sprain is only temporary and can be repaired in a matter of days. You will be able to compete again in 2 to 4 weeks.

Graduation 2 sprains are usually healed within 6 to 9 months of the injury

Grade 3 sprains can take up to three months depending on how the athlete is doing.


Mobility: Light mobility exercises are recommended for ankle sprains after swelling has subsided. Your Chiropractor can mobilize the ankle and foot joints and help with the movement of the musculature and ligaments.

Strengthening: After ankle sprains, when stiffness is gone and you can walk or stand normally again, strengthening exercises are added to increase ankle strength.

Balance and Proprioception: Properception is vital, especially in order to avoid future injuries or recurring ankle strains. Your chiropractor can provide exercises for ankle and foot injuries. Gentle manipulative techniques can be used to stimulate the proprioceptive capabilities of the ankle. This will help in the rehabilitation of soccer injuries and ankle sprains.

When you have an ankle injury, a chiropractor can help. This will help you reduce pain and speed up your healing process. Research supports the use of chiropractic can treat ankle sprains and recurrent ankle strains. A study showed that patients with ankle sprains experienced less pain when chiropractic was included in their treatment plan.

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