By: Himja Upadhyay, Registered Physiotherapist, February 2015
In recent years, increasing numbers of people of all ages have become active for all of the health benefits exercises and sports offer.
Exercises and sports are good, but sometimes you can get injured while playing sports or doing exercises. Accidents, poor training practices, overdoing exercises, inadequate warm up, or improper gear can cause these types of injuries.
The Most Common Sports Injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Knee injuries
- Swollen muscles
- Achilles tendon injuries
- Pain along the shin bone
- Rotator cuff injuries
In today’s blog, let’s discuss ankle sprains.
Ankle sprains account for almost half of all sports injuries and are a common reason why people take time off from activities. An ankle sprain is an injury to one or more of the ligaments in the ankle. These strong fibrous bands hold together the bones of the ankle and are prone to injury during strenuous movement and repetitive activity.
There are two categories of ankle ligaments: those on the outer and those on the inner surfaces of the ankle. The most common sites of injury are in the outer – or “lateral” – ankle ligaments.
Evaluation and Diagnosis of Ankle Sprains
Obtaining a thorough, detailed history of events is critical in the evaluation of ankle pain in order to lead to an accurate diagnosis. Immediate evaluation is important to determine if there are any other injuries, such as a fracture.
Common signs and symptoms of an ankle sprain include swelling, pain, instability and bruising. Numbness or severe weakness may suggest a related nerve injury.
Examination of the ankle for evidence of instability and localizing pain is part of the Initial Assessment. Often x-rays or MRIs are obtained for further evaluation.
Ankle sprains are categorized into three grade ranging from mild, moderate to severe. Your health practitioner will be able to determine the grade of sprain after the assessment.
Acute Treatment for Ankle Sprains
After an accurate diagnosis is obtained, treatment will vary depending on the severity of injury.
Early and comprehensive treatment remains the best predictor of a good recovery.
Initial treatment includes five common concepts referred to as P.R.I.C.E. (Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation). Relative rest or discontinuation of athlete is often necessary.
Rehabilitation for Ankle Sprains
A comprehensive rehabilitation program is a critical part in the treatment of ankle sprains. With the guidance of a physical therapist, stretching and strengthening of the ankle joint and calf muscles will quicken the recovery time and decrease the risk of re-injury.
Re-training the muscle sensation (called proprioception) and postural control (balance) are critical components of a rehab program. Balance training, is an excellent rehabilitation technique that helps strengthen and stabilize the ankle, reducing the risk of re-injury.
Returning to activities usually varies from a few days to months, depending on the severity of injury.
Prevention of injury is a part of training and exercise plan as well. The ultimate goal of any treatment program is to improve function without inhibiting an individual’s performance.
>> Please contact our clinic to get more information about sports injury rehabilitation at 905-456-8196 or book your appointment now!
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