What is an ankle sprain?
Ankle Sprains, sometimes called a rolled or twisted ankle, is an injury involving the ligaments of the ankle joint. These ligaments hold the ankle joint together, providing stability and preventing abnormal movements. They are damaged when the ankle is moved beyond the normal range of motion thus overstretching these ligaments. Ankle Sprains are fairly common in sports involving running, jumping and quick change of directions.
Ankle Sprains will generally resolve themselves, however doing nothing often allows for movement compensations and these tend to show themselves later as their own problems. Modified movement as soon as possible after injury, as well as a visit to your physiotherapist may decrease the risk of joint range restriction, compensation and may improve your healing time and healing quality. This allows you to get back to what you love doing a lot sooner!
How Can Physio Help an Ankle Sprain?
physiotherapy can improve the healing of your ankle sprain by encouraging range of motion and therefore reducing pain and aggravation. As the symptoms resolve, your physiotherapist can design a movement program to strengthen and stabilise your ankle and to improve your balance and reaction. This will prevent re-injury and improve performance.
Prevention of Ankle Sprains.
Ankle Sprains are one of the most common sports injuries and generally occur in jumping and twisting activities like basketball and tennis. A sprain is a disruption to the ligamentous structures that connect bone to bone and may take some time to recover. The outside ankle structures are the most commonly affected and severity may be graded in three levels.
- Risk factors include a history of injury.
- Inadequate balance co-ordination.
- Poor strength and flexibility around the joint.
- Increased age.
Prevention strategies include supportive taping or bracing. Suitable warm-ups and cool downs. Care with playing and training surfaces eg. Slip hazards or uneven surfaces. A graduated training regimen with suitable rest periods. Good hydration and nutrition. Always follow the advice of your health professional.