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Ankle Sprain- treatment or rehabilitation

Ankle Sprain- treatment or rehabilitation

The ankle is made up of three different joints (the talocrural joint, distal tibiofibular joint and subtalar joints). There are several ligaments that help provide stability of the joints.  The medial (inside) aspect of the ankle has a large, fan shaped ligament called the deltoid ligament made up of four smaller ligaments and is an incredibly strong and stable structure.  The large bony structure of the tibia also helps with stability of the inside of the ankle.

The lateral aspect (outside) of the ankle comprises of three smaller ligaments and a much smaller bony structure of the fibula.  This allows for better movement, but tends to reduce the stability of the joint into inversion.

Ankle sprains are incredibly common, and usually involve an inversion (foot turning in) injury affecting the outside of the ankle.  You will often notice swelling, bruising and significant pain with ligament injuries, even mild sprains can be quite painful.

Physiotherapists often see acute ankle sprains and can offer help with pain management and help rehabilitate the ankle by improving movement, strength and stability.  Early rehabilitation can often be very helpful for ankle sprains.

We also often see patients who have had repeated ankle sprains or tend to “go over on them” very easily.  Often this is due to having no proprioceptive rehabilitation.

Proprioception is our bodies way of telling us where our joints are in space, this allows us to make corrective movements and avoid injury.  

Sometimes our proprioceptive structures can get a bit confused following a sprain, meaning they may not tell our bodies to respond at the right time, leading to further injury.  It is never too late to rehabilitate proprioception and work on stability and if you have concerns about your ankle following a sprain, speak to a physiotherapist.

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