Ankle injuries are one of the most common sports-related injuries, occurring in almost every sporting activity. At some point, almost everyone has twisted his/her ankle. Mild twists or sprains may not be much of a problem, but anything worse can lead to troubling pain and dysfunction.
Ankle Sprains – Not Just in Sports
Ankle injuries are often thought of as sports injuries. But even non-sporty people can turn their ankle and hurt it. Something as simple as walking on an uneven surface can cause a painful, debilitating sprain. Ankle sprain is common that it often occurs with even a slight trauma.
Sports that involve jumping, turning, and twisting movements such as basketball, volleyball, and football as well as explosive changes of direction such as soccer, tennis, and hockey particularly place high risk of ankle sprains.
A sprained ankle is when one or more ligaments on the outer side of your ankle were stretched or torn. It can lead to long-term problems if not treated properly. Usually, the ankle is rolled either inward or outward. An ankle rolled inward is called inversion sprain while an ankle rolled outward is called eversion sprain.
In the sprained ankle, the most common damage occurs on the talo-fibula ligament. If the sprain is worse, the calceneo-fibula ligament can also be damaged. Sometimes, the tendons also get damaged.
Pain is usually felt at the area of an ankle sprain. Often the ankle starts to swell immediately and may develop bruising. The affected area is usually tender to touch and may feel unstable. The swelling typically goes away within a few days if the sprain is mild.
The severity of your symptoms may vary depending on how much tearing has occurred. If the sprain is more severe, you may be unable to work or even put weight on your foot, and your ankle may feel wobbly. Initially, pain is extreme, but some people start to feel better soon. There can also be a tearing sensation and a pop or a snap. If the sprain does not heal properly, the pain may persist or you may be more likely to injure your ankle again.
The Ankle Joint
Your ankle bone and the ends of your two lower leg bones make up the ankle joint. The ligaments connect the bones to one another, stabilise and support it. Your muscles and tendons also move it.
The ankle is capable of a wide range of movement – flexion, extension, inversion and eversion and a combination of other movements. All this is necessary for locomotion and to traverse uneven ground. The ankle holds the full weight of the body and the forces that are exerted on it are considerable, particularly in running and jumping.
How Physiotherapy Helps
A sprained ankle can increase your risk of re-injury as much as 40% to 70%. The risk can be decreased with post-injury rehabilitation. Physiotherapy is helpful in effective rehabilitation of your sprained ankle and preventing recurrence.
Physiotherapy can help address severe sprains or persistent symptoms. A physiotherapist can advise on exercises and may give treatments such as heat and ultrasound. The aim of physiotherapy includes improving range of motion, muscle strength, and proprioception.
Accurate assessment and early treatment allows you to resume pain-free and normal activities of daily living. The effectiveness of the rehabilitation program after injury often determines the success of future function and athletic performance. Here at Happy Physio, we ensure effective rehabilitation to bring you back to your fully-functional self.
Off with the pain from ankle sprain. Our Perth physiotherapists can help. Call us today at 9272 7359!