Injuries are not much fun and when you suffer the same injury again and again it can be even more frustrating. The good news though is that some recurrent injuries; like ankle sprains, are more preventable that you might realise. All it takes is the right rehab and you can say goodbye to those ankle braces for good!
The first time we sprain our ankle we unfortunately do some irreversible damage. Even if we do all the right things; RICER, physiotherapy, rehab, our once perfect ligament will never quite be the same again. The good news though is that although our passive ankle stability (our ligaments) have suffered some damage our active ankle stability (our muscles) can pick up some of the extra work to create an ankle just as functional as the original.
During the early phases of rehabilitation, your goals should be on reducing pain and increasing range of movement. Preventing stiffness in the ankle during the early stages of rehabilitation and recovery is one of the best things you can do to get you back to activity faster. Gradually the focus of rehab will shift to regaining and improving the active stability in the ankle.
Active stability in the ankle is where the muscles work to give you balance, power, accuracy and strength during movement. A healthy ankle should be able to perform movements such as single leg calf raises and provide good balance on even the most uneven surfaces such as a wobble board. As with all rehab programs the specific exercises that are best for you are the ones that are chosen specifically for you by your healthcare professional. And as always exercises should be pain free and you should have good technique. Calf raises might look easy but a lot of the time people are doing them wrong!
Once you have established some strong active stability, the next step in rehab is to become a little more sports specific, for some people that might be jumping, hoping and eventually running, for others it might be control through unusual postures and positions to get back to work or their favourite yoga pose. Whatever your goals are your physiotherapist should be able to design a program specifically for you.
Do you have ankles that frustrate you? Book an appointment at www.fordesphysio.com.au by clicking on MAKE AN APPOINTMENT or alternatively you can call us on 0411690484.