An ankle sprain or “twisted ankle” is an injury involving the strain of the ligaments of the ankle joint. It is a common injury we see in our Oakville Physio clinic and we treat people from an acute or fresh injury to helping get them back to work or sports safely. A large part of what Physiotherapists do is help prevent re-injury to the area as well.
What are Ligaments?
Ligaments are passive structures that connect one bone to another bone and help keep joints stable.
The ligaments on the outside of the ankle are more commonly injured. This is called a lateral ankle sprain The reason for this is the structure of your ankle joint. The ankle has more movement into inversion (the bottom of the foot turning in).
What Causes Ankle Sprains?
There are many causes of ankle sprains both in sports and in day to day life. Stepping on uneven surfaces, landing awkwardly, stepping on something (like a foot an rolling off it.)
Medial (inside) ankle sprains are less common because of the bony structure of the ankle. There is also greater reinforcement of the ligaments on the inside of the ankle.
A common occurrence in ankle sprains that our Physiotherapists see in our North Oakville clinic is also a strain of the muscles that help stabilize ankle motion. A more serious type of ankle sprain is called an avulsion fracture. This is when the ankle ligament pulls a piece of the bone that it is attached to off. Our Physio’s will treat people for avulsion ankle fractures occasionally while they are still in their boot to walking. This is generally cleared by an orthopaedic surgeon to begin this type of Physiotherapy.
How does Physio help with ankle sprains?
Physio for ankle sprains can be beneficial right from the initial injury. Early treatment is best!
This does not mean your Physio will make you balance, run and use bands on an acute ankle sprain daily. This is a common misconception of early physiotherapy treatment, and why many people actually have delayed treatment.
Any Physiotherapy treatment, education and advise will be based on your stage of healing and your goals. Your Physiotherapist will see you through each stage and help progress you along smoothly. This helps prevent joint stiffness as well as atrophy and full body reconditioning.
Just because your ankle is injured, does not mean your whole body is injured.
In the early stages of injury, our Oakville Physio’s help you follow an acute injury protocol. This includes protection, off-loading, compression, icing, and elevation. Your Physio can help size crutches or a cane to you, if needed and ensure you are weight bearing properly and comfortably with them.
As soon as you are able to, our Oakville Physio’s will progress strengthening and range of motion exercises. They may advise on taping or bracing the ankle to get back to activity.
How Important is Physiotherapy for Ankle Sprains?
Physiotherapy for ankle sprains is incredibly important to help prevent recurrent instability. Yet, a high number of people do not seek physio.
Strengthening and proprioceptive exercises are supported by research to help recover and return safely to sport.
Don’t settle with topping off at banded exercises for the ankle only. Physio should and can go beyond that to be most effective for you!
Contact our North Oakville Physio clinic to book in your Physio assessment. We’ll help you get back on your feet faster!