Tips for recurrent ankle sprains

Are you tired of worrying about rolling your ankle every time you exercise? Are even simple activities such as walking the dog around the block or hiking up your favourite hill causing you to sprain your ankle? Chances are, your ankles are weak and need some help! So why is it happening to you and what can you do about it?
Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries that we see at FNQ Podiatry & Orthotics. They are extremely common in sports that involve rapid side to side movement such as netball or touch football. The severity of these sprains can vary and unfortunately are often left untreated which can lead to chronic ankle instability.

The most important ankle sprain that will likely occur for you is the first one. We all know how busy life is! We get it. It is this very reason that the sprain that occurred the night before at netball quickly gets brushed aside for the day to day grind. You hobble around the office or house for a few days and before you know it, you are back doing normal activities. Yes, it occasionally hurts but you’re not going to let that get in the way of winning that grand final are you!
What you don’t know though is that the supportive structures around your ankle, mainly your ligaments and tendons, have now suffered damage. They are all of a sudden that little bit weaker, your balance and coordination on that foot is reduced and you have lost power. Due to these factors, the threshold force that your ankle can tolerate before spraining is significantly lowered and you are then on the ankle hamster wheel. Sprain after sprain after sprain until you now normalise this previously foreign injury and except that it is part of your life and you can’t do anything about it. Right? No!
Early assessment of treatment of an ankle sprain is vital to reduce the risk of it happening again and can be incredibly successful. In fact, research has shown that you are up to 4x more likely to sprain your ankle again in the short-term if left un-treated!

So what can FNQ Podiatry & Orthotics do to help?
As mentioned, early assessment and treatment of the ankle post sprain is recommended. Our highly trained Podiatrists will run you through a thorough biomechanical assessment to assess all the surrounding structures of the foot and ankle and to grade your ankle sprain. We also assess swelling, bruising and range of motion of the ankle to get an accurate idea how to best help you.
The biomechanical assessment will also examine your gait on a treadmill (if you can walk on your sore foot/ankle properly). Our video gait analysis allows us to have an accurate image of how the foot and ankle are functioning.
Treatment is largely based around restoring ankle joint mobility as quickly as possible as well as improving strength:
-Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation in the acute phase post sprain (0-72hrs)
-Massage/release work of tight surrounding muscles the control ankle movement
-Joint mobilization of the ankle and foot joints to improve range of movement
-Progressive strengthening program:
Starts off with simple theraband exercises that you can do in your chair or bed
Progress into weight bearing exercises such as calf raises and squats
End stage exercises are focused on plyometrics such as jumps and hops.
*Note – the severity of your ankle sprain will guide how quickly this process takes
Exo-L brace – for recurrent severe sprains this innovative brace is a game changer! Click for more info.

If you are tired of your ankles preventing you from doing the activities you love to do, call our friendly team to arrange an assessment. Appointments are available online at www.fnqpodiatry.com.au or on 40 455 749

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