Ankle Sprain

Quite often we hear of patients who repeatedly sprain their ankles. Weeks, months or even years may pass between episodes, but there is a definite pattern of inversion ankle sprain (or “rolling your ankle”) on a specific side. Often times this can be attributed to what we call a functional ankle instability.

Rolled Ankle – What is it?

Quite often, patients tell us they keep “rolling their ankles”.  In this case, they more than likely have functional ankle instability.  With functional ankle instability, our body controls the muscles around the affected joint in an altered fashion due to repeated episodes of injury. So what can we do to fix this?

Ankle Sprain

Ankle Sprain

Physiotherapy for Ankle Sprains

The specific approach a physiotherapist or chiropractor might use to treat an ankle sprain can vary.  Often times, it depends on the stage of the injury.  To combat chronic, repeated ankle sprains it is essential to retrain and strengthen certain muscles and movement patterns in the ankle.  This is not appropriate immediately after an acute ankle sprain however.  In the case of a swollen, recent ankle sprain the treatment approach is different.

Treatment for Acute Ankle Sprains

The physiotherapists in our Burlington sports injury clinic often use a combination of laser therapy and acupuncture in the initial stages of ankle sprain recovery.  Laser therapy has a reputation for reducing swelling and eliminating pain quickly.   For further information about laser therapy, please visit our laser page.

Active Release for Ankle Sprains

In our Burlington clinic, Active Release Technique is performed by our chiropractors.  Active release has a great reputation for assisting with tissue mechanics in chronic ankle sprains.  Again, if you just sprained your ankle it is not likely to be appropriate.  In the later stages of healing it may be more helpful.

Graston Technique for Ankle Sprains

The Graston Technique is another technique that can be helpful for ankle sprains.  Similar to active release, Graston is more appropriate in the later stages of healing.  It assists in the breakdown of dysfunctional scar tissue that occurs as a result of the initial injury.  Again, in the early stages of recovery from an ankle sprain a treatment like laser therapy is more beneficial.

Exercises for Ankle Sprains

According to some recent research, the peroneus longus muscle has been found to be dysfunctional in many patients who have experienced repeated ankle sprains. Although the specific cause is unknown, this altered muscular activity can be expected to reduce protection against ankle sprain.  Consulting with one of our practitioners is recommended to assist you in finding the appropriate management strategy for your ankle sprain.  For more information about our Chiropractors, please visit our Chiropractic Page.  For information about our Physiotherapist, please visit our Physiotherapy page.  Burlington Sports Therapy – 905.220.7858  info@burlingtonsportstherapy.com

References
Santilli V, Frascarelli MA, Paoloni M. Peroneus longus muscle activation pattern during gait cycle in athletes affected by functional ankle instability. The Journal of American Sports Medicine 2005; 33(8): 1183-1187.

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