Ankle Sprains and Unstable Ankles

Ankle Sprains and Unstable AnklesAnkle sprains are one of the most common injuries in court and field sports.  There is a very high incidence of ankle injuries in children and adolescence. Interestingly this is an injury that is twice as likely to happen in females than males. We belive in good physio intervention from the start - but why is this so important to get right?

The problem is this. Ankle sprains have the highest recurrence rate for any lower limb injury, meaning that having happened once it is the most injury to happen again. As a result, chronic ankle problems are common to occur. In fact, between 46% to 70% of those who had an initial ankle sprain will then go on to develop ankle instability.  Ankle instability is what many of our patients would describe as “unstable ankles” or “weak ankles” or “an ankle that might go again”.

Chronic ankle injuries are then at a much higher risk of going on to develop early ankle arthritis. 

Why is Ankle Sprain Rehabilitation so Important

physio for ankle sprainsThat initial ankle sprain, has got the potential to go on and cause a lifetime of frustration, pain and issues.  So getting the rehab of this injury right the first time is highly important.  This means not just waiting for the pain and swelling to reduce. This means making sure the ankle is strong, has good reactions and is able to deal with all the types of stresses it will be faced with when returning to normal activities or sports.

What is the Treatment for Ankle Sprains?

At Physiologix (upstairs at the Gap Health and Racquet Club) we have a number of goals you have to meet in order to make sureof successful treatment and thus less chance of re-injury in the future.  

Your ankle movement needs to be good. Your physio will use hands on mobilistaion techniques to help regain full range of movement.  Strength has to be appropriate to what you will need to be doing – this is not just in the ankle, but with in the foot and all the way up the chain of the lower limb/rest of the body.  You will start on a strengthening program not just for the foot and ankle but all of the leg.  This will be continuously progressed over your physio treatment sessions.

why you need physio for ankle sprainAll the movements you need to be able to do need to be done correctly, meaning with good control in the foot and ankle, but also all of the body including the knee and hips.  Examples include, hopping, jumping, cutting, changing direction, twisting.  And this needs to be done with good technique and back up to the speeds you require for your activites. We also want you to have full confidence in your ankle.  You need to feel ready, have full trust in your ankle.  Long term bracing and / or taping may be required: it has now be proven that long term taping or bracing will in no way make your ankle weaker! If it feels good and you feel more stable and confident then wear it!

Our Physiologix physios will use hands on treatment initially. But much will revolve around exercises – and we will fit in with you! These can be at the gym, school, home – it doesn’t matter as long as we get you doing what you need to do. We will also liaise with anyone else you need us to do, trainers, coaches, teachers etc.  Getting everyone onboard is an important component of supporting you as you get back to everything

Get those ankles right – give us a call on 3511 1112, or contact us from our website