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London Warriors


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London Warriors


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Pine Crest High School (USA)


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London O's Youth


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GB Lions Seniors


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London O's Senior


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Team England Youth


Head Coach

Tec-Monterrey Mexico City


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Mexican University Centre


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University of Mexico (High/ Jnr High




A sprain is an injury to a ligament, the tough, fibrous tissue that connects bones to other bone. Ligament injuries involve a stretching or a tearing of this tissue.

A strain is an injury to either a muscle or a tendon, the tissue that connects muscles to bones. Depending on the severity of the injury, a strain may be a simple overstretch of the muscle or tendon, or it can result in a partial or complete tear.


A strain is caused by twisting or pulling a muscle or tendon. Strains can be acute or chronic. An acute strain is caused by trauma or an injury such as a blow to the body, it can also be caused by improperly lifting heavy objects or overstressing the muscles. A sprain typically occurs when people fall and land on an outstretched arm, slide into base, land on the side of their foot, or twist a knee with the foot planted firmly on the ground. This results in an overstretch or tear of the ligament(s) supporting that joint.  Chronic strains are usually the result of overuse - prolonged, repetitive movement of the muscles and tendons.

Signs and Symptoms of Sprains
The usual signs and symptoms of a muscle sprain include pain, swelling, bruising, muscle spasm, muscle weakness and the loss of functional ability (the ability to move and use the joint). Sometimes people feel a pop or tear when the injury happens. However, these signs and symptoms can vary in intensity, depending on the severity of the sprain. Severe strains that partially or completely tear the muscle or tendon are often very painful and disabling.

Grades of Severity for Sprains:

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

Grade 1 sprain:

  • Some stretching or perhaps minor tearing of the ligaments.
  • Little or no joint instability.
  • Mild pain. 
  • Some joint stiffness or difficulty walking or running.
  • Mild swelling, and little or no loss of functional ability.
  • Bruising is absent or slight
  • Usually able to put weight on the affected joint.

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 joint.
  • Minor bruising may be evident.
  • Slight bruising
  • Some difficulty putting weight on the affected joint
  • An x-ray or MRI may be needed.

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.
  • Unable to put weight on the joint.
  • An x-ray is usually taken to rule out a broken bone.
  • This type of a muscle sprain often requires immobilization and possibly surgery.
  • It can also increase the risk of an athlete having future muscles sprains in that area.

Sprained Ankle

A sprained ankle or twisted ankle as it is sometimes known, is a common cause of ankle pain. A sprain is stretching and or tearing of ligaments (you sprain a ligament and strain a muscle). The most common is an inversion sprain (or lateral ligament sprain) where the ankle turns over so the sole of the foot faces inwards, damaging the ligaments on the outside of the ankle.

In addition to the ligament damage there may also be damage to tendons, bone and other joint tissues, which is why it is important to get a professional to diagnose your ankle sprain. If possible an X-ray should be used, as small fractures are not uncommon.

Severely sprained ankles, where there are complete ruptures of the anterior talofibular, calcaneofibular and posterior talofibular ligaments, result in dislocation of the ankle joint which are often associated with a fracture.

See A Sports Injury Specialist

  • A sports injury specialist will undertake a thorough assessment of the injury so time is not wasted treating the wrong condition.
  • A doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication (e.g. ibuprofen)to help with pain and swelling.
  • Reduce swelling by compression devices or taping techniques.
  • Use ultrasound and laser treatment to reduce pain and inflammation and promote healing.
  • Use cross friction massage to promote healing and reduce scar tissue development.  


Aim to reduce the swelling by RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) as soon as possible.

Following the initial painful stage, there are other treatments that can help the ankles return to normal as soon as possible. Range of motion exercises such as ankle circles can help to get the ankle moving again, as well as reducing swelling if performed with the leg elevated. The calf muscles often tighten up to protect the joint following a sprained ankle, and so gently stretching the calf muscles can also help to maintain movement at the joint.

Sprained Wrist

Wrists are often sprained after a fall in which the athlete lands on an outstretched hand. .

See a Doctor for a Sprain or Strain when:

  • You have severe pain and cannot put any weight on the injured joint.
  • The area over the injured joint or next to it is very tender when you touch it.
  • The injured area looks crooked or has lumps and bumps that you do not see on the uninjured joint.
  • You cannot move the injured joint.
  • You cannot walk more than four steps without significant pain.
  • Your limb buckles or gives way when you try to use the joint.
  • You have numbness in any part of the injured area.
  • You see redness or red streaks spreading out from the injury.
  • You injure an area that has been injured several times before.
  • You have pain, swelling, or redness over a bony part of your foot.

Rehabilitation for Sprains and Strains
The second stage of treating a sprain or strain is rehabilitation to restore normal function. When the pain and swelling are reduced you can generally begin gentle exercise. A custom program is often created by a physical therapist that prevents stiffness, improves range of motion, improves flexibility and builds strength. Depending on the type of injury you have, you may go to physical therapy for several weeks, or do the exercises at home.

People with an ankle sprain may start with range of motion exercises, such as writing the alphabet in the air with the big toe. An athlete with an injured knee or foot will work on weight-bearing and balancing exercises. The length of this stage depends on the extent of the injury, but it is often several weeks.

Rebuilding strength is a slow and gradual process, and only when done correctly can the athlete consider returning to sports. It's tempting to resume full activity despite pain or muscle soreness, but returning to full activity soon increases the chance of re-injury and may lead to a chronic problem.

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