What is a sprained ankle?
One of the most common injuries, a sprained ankle occurs when the ligaments of the ankle have been overstretched by mechanism of “rolling the ankle” usually whilst landing or stepping onto some uneven ground or planting your foot awkwardly whilst running, jumping during sport. This can vary in severity from a mild strain where there may be mild pain most commonly through the outside of the ankle, to severe bruising caused by rupture of the ligaments and tendons which cross the joint or to in a most severe case fractured bones on the ankle.
What are the symptoms?
Patients report after rolling an ankle, most commonly pain through the lateral or outside part of the ankle. It can be accompanied with swelling followed by bruising usually (but not excluding the medial or inside of the ankle) through the lateral aspect of the heel, and further down the foot and higher up into the ankle if more severe. You may or may not be able to bear weight on that foot, if this is the case strapping, crutches or a Moonboot may be required to help support the ankle through the early stages.
How is an ankle sprain diagnosed?
Our Osteopaths, Myotherapists and Podiatrists at Beyond are all highly qualified at assessing and diagnosing ankle sprains. Through a thorough history, and clinical examination of your ankle, we are able to determine the severity of the ankle sprain and thus plan a management program in order to aid the healing process and get you back to full function. If required you may be referred for an MRI, X-ray or CT scan in order to rule out or confirm more severe ligament or bone injuries.
Treatment for Sprained Ankle
Our Beyond staff will opt for the best form of treatment dependent on the latest scientific findings, this may involve:
- Further injury prevention, pain relief and control of inflammation.
- Soft tissue treatment of the ligament scar tissue to promote mobility, stability and tissue repair.
- Active and passive mobility exercises to restore normal range of motion to the foot and ankle complex.
- Dry Needling of various structures of the ankle to promote the healing process and deactivate any surrounding trigger points which can affect ankle mechanics.
- Provide a strengthening/proprioception program to help with recovery and prevention of further injury.
- Education on how to improve the healing process with at home management plans and advice to reduce the healing time.
Studies have suggested that up to 40% of lateral ankle sprains can result in chronic ankle instability, which further leads to increased susceptibility to re-sprain, a feeling of ankle giving way, prolonged pain, swelling, limitations in daily life activities and sports participation.
Our therapists at Beyond and our Podiatrists in particular specialize at recognising predisposing factors which can further help prevent chronic ankle instability, such as:
- Poor foot/ankle mechanics and posture.
- Poor striking pattern and gait (the way in which you walk and or run).
- Poor footwear.
- Joint restrictions and muscle dysfunction in the lumbo-pelvic and lower limb regions.
From this our team at Beyond can create a tailored management plan which may include clinical pilates to best assist you to return to optimal function allowing you to get back to the things you love.