Ankle sprains are on of the most common injuries that occur everyday. In addition there are an alarming amount of individuals who suffer pain in their ankle or have foot problems and have no idea what to do about it or who simply avoid facing the problem.
If you have an ankle sprain or ankle injury it is important to act now and seek treatment in order to ensure that no long-term damage is done. In this article you will find out how your physiotherapist can help you heal from an ankle sprain or ankle injury.
A sprained ankle means pain and swelling of the ankle joint, which has been caused by the ligaments of the ankle to be torn when an individual has rolled over on their ankle. It is vital that you undergo physiotherapy treatment once you are able to apply pressure, to help you recover from an ankle sprain as quickly as possible. Ankle sprains are common sport injuries, however also happen during everyday activities. An unnatural twisting motion occurs when the foot is placed awkwardly or when the ground is uneven and an unusual and unsuspected amount of pressure is applied to the joint. It can affect any one of the three bones that make up the ankle joint: the tibia, fibula or talus. In addition ankle sprains affect the ligaments that provide connection to the bones and tendons, which connect muscles to the bones.
As you can see it is vital that once you are able to apply some slight pressure to your ankle, then your physiotherapist can help you treat the repair of your whole ankle.
Depending on your injury, your physiotherapist will engage in hands-on physiotherapy, exercise rehabilitation and hydrotherapy services to treat your sprain or injury. As part of this process, a good physiotherapist will usually undertake the following services during the course of treatment:
- A thorough history taking and examination
- Explanation of your condition
- Goal setting discussion
- A management plan including; education, exercise prescription and postural education (when relevant)
- A hands-on approach to treatment using a variety of techniques including; massage, joint mobilisation and stretches.
Other ways that a physiotherapist can help you heal from an ankle sprain or ankle injury is by providing information about the following:
- Advising what footwear you should choose. Poor footwear selection is a major factor in developing problems involving the foot and ankle and contributes to an ankle injury. Shoes also need to be correctly fitted to give the necessary support and adequate cushioning. They will need to suit the foot type (eg. narrow or broad), and comfort should not be sacrificed purely for fashion reasons. In addition, getting the right orthotics (inserts which are placed in your shoe to help correct and support arch problems) is vital. Your physiotherapist can supply you with orthotics and a good orthotic in the aftermath of an ankle injury can provide excellent support.
- Discussing overuse of the ankle, in particular conversations around proper stretching, exercise routines and footwear will help you avoid further ankle sprains and an ankle injury.
- Making sure you understand foot mechanics. Poor foot mechanics involves stiffening of the foot and ankle, which results in poor movement and may involve a lax joint and an excessive or collapsed arch. Having poor foot mechanics can increase your chance of foot and ankle pain and injury. One of the ways to overcome this is through stretching exercises designed by your physiotherapist.
- Your physiotherapist can also identify tendon problems, treat plantar fasciitis and assist you in avoiding arthritis in the ankle and foot.
Lastly, sport injuries can be a variety of muscular pain and tears, ligament strains and sprains and bone fractures or breaks. A physiotherapist should be your first point of call for most of these sports injuries. Soft tissue damage and minor joint injuries will respond well to a course of physiotherapy treatment. Your physiotherapist can order X-Rays if fractures and breaks are suspected.