The ankle joint is a hinge joint formed between the bones of the lower leg (tibia and fibula) and a bone of the foot (talus). It allows the foot to bend upwards and downwards and also facilitates a small amount of rotation.

The joint’s stability comes from the structural arrangement of the bones and the surrounding muscles and ligaments. Ligaments provide stability by preventing too much side to side movement.


On the inside of the ankle the joint is stabilized by a thick, strong fibrous ligament called the deltoid ligament.

On the outside of the ankle, the joint is stabilized by three smaller ligaments. Sprains to any of the outside ligaments occur when the ankle is twisted inwards under pressure. These sprains account for more than 80% of all ankle sprains.


As the ankle twists the peroneal (lower leg) muscles and tendons are overstretched. Blood vessels are ruptured, the ankle and foot swell, causing further pain and incapacity.


A complete tear of all ligaments may result in a dislocation of the ankle joint and an accompanying fracture. A Pott's fracture is a fracture to one of the bony parts of the ankle called the malleoli. Fractures can occur on the outside or the inside of the lower leg.

SportsMed TENS therapy

After a diagnosis of ankle sprain or peroneal damage, your ankle injury management plan should include physical therapy treatment as often as possible.

SportsMed is the TENS, ECS and EMS machine we suggest to aid repair of an ankle injury.

SportsMed electrotherapy can be used everyday - outside the clinic - for drug-free, on-demand pain relief. It is also designed and programmed to aid circulation, reduce inflammation, hasten healing and help with peroneal muscle rehabilitation.

  • RELIEVE mode:

    • Pain relief (modulated low and high frequency TENS; continuous, comfortable intensity)

    • Early stage injury treatment (modulated low to medium frequency ECS; continuous, low intensity)

  • RECOVERY mode - injury healing

    • Later stage injury treatment (modulated low to medium frequency EMS and ECS; surging, medium intensity)

  • EXERCISE mode - muscle strengthening

    • Rehabilitation stage (high frequency EMS; surging, medium to high intensity)

TENS Pad placement - ankle injury

ankle injury electrode placement
ankle injury electrode placement
ankle injury electrode placement

SportsMed treatment guide

Purpose ModeIntensity TimeHow often
Pain relief RELIEVELow to medium Minimum 60 minutesOn demand
Muscle soreness RELIEVELow Several hoursDaily for 1 or 2 days
Scar tissue RELIEVELow Several hoursDaily as needed
Soft tissue healing RECOVERMedium 10 to 20 minutes3 times per day
Circulation RELIEVE or RECOVERLow 60 minutesas often as needed
Rehabilitation EXERCISEMedium 5 to 15 minutes3 times per day
Rehabilitation EXERCISEMedium to high 10 to 20 minutes3 times per day
On RELIEVE mode – muscles should not contract or twitch
On RECOVER mode – muscles should contract, mildly
On EXERCISE mode – muscles should contract, mildly or strongly – as required

TENS and EMS machine for ankle injury

Injury page links

SportsMed TENS, ECS and EMS
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