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  • Writer's pictureLife Made Simple Physio

Things that go bump in the middle of the night!

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

Halloween is with us, and the end of October is ahead with all of the spooky connotations that come with it. We would not want to be left out!

Getting around at dawn or dusk can be interesting as the days draw in and we hope that ‘something that goes bump’ in the middle of the night is not you as you trip over in the darkness. Not uncommon, I can assure you. This might also apply to your exercise regime, and with the short days this can mean running (as an example) in poor light, and even the nimblest runner can fall foul of the odd obstacle, pavement, drain cover or pothole.

The painful result in any circumstance can be a twist of your ankle, which can mean the ligaments in your ankles and legs stretch or tear. Please be careful as the nights get longer.

The properties of ligaments

Ligaments are strong, stretchy bands, made of collagen, the main job of which, in this example, is to help stabilise the ankle and absorb shock when your foot strikes a surface. They keep the bones of the ankle together in the proper position and prevent your ankle from twisting, folding or collapsing.

An ankle ligament can be injured when it moves in the wrong direction, stretches too far or tears. A ligament injury is called a sprain. If disrupted, they enable too much movement, which can cause pain. We all know the discomfort!

The most common sprain is on the outside of the foot when you twist or roll your foot inwards. This is called an inversion ankle sprain. This is the most common type of injury as the ligaments on the outside, the lateral ligaments, are weaker than the other ligaments.

Structures of your ankle

Sprains do not just occur as a result of sporting activities or running. You may just as easily roll your ankle by stepping off a curb awkwardly, having someone step on your foot, bumping into something in the night, or even whilst clearing up the garden as the leaves fall. Unfortunately, genetics may also play a role in putting extra strain on the structures of your ankle.

Symptoms of an ankle sprain are pain on the sides or front of the ankle (normally it is extremely uncomfortable), tenderness to touch, swelling, bruising, stiffness or reluctance to move the ankle, difficulty weight-bearing on the foot, a loose feeling in the ankle, a popping or snapping sound and sometimes the foot can feel cold.

Personalised care programme

There are different grades of ankle sprain, and if you hear a ‘pop’, it is often the most severe. Ankle sprains can get better on their own over a period of between 2-12 weeks; however, if you are unable to put any weight on it, or it keeps on happening, consulting a physiotherapist is a great idea.

Most sprains are mild, but they can be severe. If you have a moderate to severe sprain, or repeat sprains, you should talk to a healthcare professional. Sprains can weaken your ankle, increasing the chances that you’ll injure it again. They can also cause long-standing or chronic pain.

With my colleague, Mel Allen, Massage and Reflexology specialist, working alongside from our centre in Bramley, we are ready to help with any bumps, strains and care you need.

Contact Us

We hope you enjoy the end of October and Halloween if you celebrate the festival. Be careful as the nights draw in and the cold brings different conditions for us all to cope with.

We look forward to helping you with your physiotherapy and massage/reflexology care as we head towards the end of the year. If you are interested in our services feel free to call us on 07309 272 555 or email

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