Affecting both athletes and non-athletes, ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries experienced at the ankle and foot. There are two different mechanisms when it comes to ankle sprains. The most common mechanism an inversion sprain when the foot rolls inward, stretching the ligaments and muscles on the outside of the ankle. The less common mechanism is an eversion sprain in which the foot rolls outward, stretching the ligaments on the inside of the ankle. With both types of sprain patients can experience pain, swelling, bruising, stiffness and difficulty with simple daily function. Walking is often difficulty following an ankle sprain, and some patients may need to be placed in a walking boot or lace up ankle brace based on the severity of the sprain to support the ankle while healing takes place.
X-rays may be ordered following an ankle sprain to rule out any fracture to the bones of the ankle or foot. When tendons and ligaments pull on bone they can cause the end of the bone to break, which is known as an avulsion fracture. Most avulsion fractures do not require surgical intervention and respond well to protected weight bearing and conservative treatment with physical therapy.
Rehab for ankle sprains
If a walking boot or lace up brace is used then patients often lose range of motion in the ankle due to stiffness and non-use. Physical therapy will help improve range of motion with exercise, soft tissue work for the affected muscles and ligaments and joint mobilizations then work with you to normalize your walking again and progress strengthening. Returning to higher level activity does take time following an ankle sprain, and it is important to improve stability in the ankle, balance, and proprioception before returning to a sport in order to prevent future ankle sprains and functional ankle instability.
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The doctors at F.I.T. Muscle & Joint Clinic in Overland Park & Shawnee, Kansas and Lees Summit, Missouri are here to help lessen and relieve your pain. Do not hesitate; contact us today for leading evidence-based assessments and treatments for your musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction.