Almost all of us at one time or another have rolled, twisted or sprained our ankle, in fact ankle sprains are one of the most common sports injures encountered and left untreated can become increasing debilitating and recurring.
The Ankle joint whilst only consisting of three bones, the Tibia, Fibula and Talus is a complex joint that connects the lower leg to the foot and is critical for stability and mobility. A complex array of ligaments connect the bones together reinforcing the joint and preventing abnormal motion.
Unfortunately the ground isn’t always perfectly level, and sometimes we subject the joint to excessive forces that result in the joint moving beyond its normal limits, rolling inwards or outwards. When this occurs we can overstretch the supporting ligaments resulting in a sprain or strain of the ankle.
The symptoms of an ankle sprain include, pain (often immediately), followed by swelling (within minutes or hours), heat, bruising and inability to weight bear comfortably. Ankle sprains often occur in sports that involve jumping, running, side to side movement and body contact. Basketball, netball, tennis, football, soccer and dance are common activities that are prone to ankle sprains.
First aid for ankle sprains should be STOP activity and ICE the affected area as soon as possible (15mins every hour if possible). Ice helps ease pain and reduce swelling, applying a COMPRESSION bandage from the foot to the lower calf also helps reduce swelling.
Once you have sprained your ankle you are more prone to the injury recurring as the ligaments and muscles around the joint are loose and weaker. Therefore a rehabilitation program that includes exercises to retrain muscles and stabilise the joint is essential to getting you back on track.
The Podiatrists at Foot Focus will not only design an exercise program to help you recover quickly, but will also assess your foot type, biomechanics and foot wear specific to your sport, and implement a treatment protocol designed to prevent the injury from recurring.