Ligament Sprain are injuries related to the soft tissues of the body (muscle, tendon, ligament and
nerve). Specific diagnosis can be made by our Physiotherapists to determine what structure is
involved and how advanced or severe the sprain, strain or tear is.
A sprain is usually caused by the joint being forced suddenly outside its usual range of movement
and the inelastic fibres are stretched through too great a range.
A sprain can range from mild(tearing of just a few fibres) to severe (complete rupture of the ligament,
leading to joint instability).
The severity of a sprain is graded according to how badly the ligament has been damaged and
whether or not the joint has been made unstable. The joint can become unstable when the damaged
ligament is no longer able to give it the normal support.
Structural damage only on microscopic level, with slight local tenderness and without joint instability.
Partial tear (rupture) of the ligament, visible swelling and noticeable tenderness, but
without joint instability (or with mild instability).
A severe sprain: complete rupture of the ligament with significant swelling and with
instability of the joint.
Mild to moderate sprains are treated conservatively and normally heal after 6 weeks. The amount of
rehabilitation and the time needed for full recovery after a sprain or strain depend on the severity of
the injury and individual rates of healing. For example a moderate ankle sprain may require 3 to 6
weeks of rehabilitation before a person can return to full activity. A severe sprain can take 8 to 12
months before the ligament is fully healed. Extra care should be taken to avoid re-injury.
This is an area of expertise for physiotherapists and encompasses the whole body. Once a diagnosis
is made, specific treatment advice can be given. When it comes to treating ligament sprains, our
team of physios are highly experienced, so you can be assured you are receiving a first class service.