Ankle sprains are some of the most common sporting injuries, often recurring again and again if not treated and rehabilitated correctly. In most cases the foot is rolled inwards, resulting in stretching or tearing of the ligaments on the outside of the ankle. Occasionally, there is associated muscle, bony or cartilage damage involved too.
Severity can range from mild (grade 1), to moderate, to a full rupture (grade 3). Although a grade 1 lateral ankle injury usually heals well, poor treatment and rehabilitation can lead to a chronically painful ankle. This may result in reduced functional ability and increased likelihood of re-injury, especially for those involved in running sports.
Care should be taken to avoid missing the less common causes of ankle pain following a sprain, namely; bony or cartilage injuries or muscle/tendon strains. If they happen to be missed, they may lead to a chronic ankle condition.
While assisting with initial management of your injury is something is critical, it is often the lack of preventative rehabilitation which causes a re-injury in most cases. Multiple sprains can cause ankle instability, which is characterised by ankle weakness, poor balance, and giving way, even though the ankle ligaments are intact.
The Physiotherapists at Melbourne Sports Physiotherapy are confident in functionally assessing your ankle to develop an appropriate exercise or treatment plan. This will focus on:
Strength (of the calf and evertor muscles)
Proprioception (Balance Control and joint position sense)
Flexibility (of scar tissue and local ankle muscle groups)
Preventative Measures (possible taping strategies for your particular condition, and sports specific drills)
All of the therapists at Melbourne Sports Physiotherapy are proficient with ankle sports taping should this be something you are interested in. We aim to teach you how to tape your own ankle, to keep you on the playing field. We also sell strapping and taping products, which you may purchase in clinic, cheaper than you would get at the chemist! Ask your therapist for further information.