Longevity Exercise Physiology Drummoyne,EdgecliffMarrickville,Bella Vista, Randwick, Lindfield and Balmain look at a common injury – Ankle Sprains!

I’m sure most of you have either sprained or even broken your ankle before, damaging the ligaments in the joint. It’s a painful injury but rehab can often be forgotten about depending on the severity of the strain. Rehab and strengthening is a must to decrease the likelihood of reinjury..

One of the most common injuries sustained in all sports is the ankle sprain. An ankle sprain is a result of an awkward movement where the ankle has rolled or twisted, causing a tear or stretch to the ligaments that stabilize the anklebones. 

The lateral ankle is held together with the help of 3 ligaments; anterior talofibular ligament, calcaeneofibularligament and the posterior talofibular ligament. The most common type of ankle sprain involves damage to the anterior talofibular ligament as a result of an inversion movement. 

 

 

 

Over half of us who sprain their ankle do not seek treatment from medical professional, complete ankle rehabilitation or partake in any recurring injury prevention exercise. This overwhelming statistic is ascary thought seeing as though we have a 70% chance of reinjury after an initial sprain. 

Although they are common, there are ways to prevent them from occurring which is particularly important for those who have already sustained the same injury. Having weak ankles at the base of your body results in changes throughout all your other joints, negatively effecting your knees and hips and altering your gait pattern.

Below are a few of the best exercises for the rehabilitation of an acute ankle sprain and should begin as soon as pain has subsided.

1. Drawing alphabet
– Using the ankle joint, draw the alphabet with your foot to improve movement and range of motion

 

2. Calf stretch
– Stretch both calf muscles by putting one foot forward with your toes facing straight ahead. Lean forward from the hips to feel a stretch throughout the calf of your back leg. Alternatively, stretch using a slant board or on stairs with your heels hanging off the stair. 

 

3. Calf raises 
– While standing on two feet, lift your heels up off the ground while keeping your toes as the only contact on the floor. Slowly lower your heels down and repeat the action.

 

To prevent reoccurring sprains it is important that you not only warm up before exercise, but you must strengthen the ligaments, surrounding muscles and practice stability exercises involving balance. 

Below are a few of the best ankle sprain prevention and later stage rehabilitation exercises to minimize reinjuryrisk. These can be completed when pain has subsided and range of motion has returned to the ankle joint.

1. Dorsiflexion, plantarflexion, inversion and eversion of the ankle joint with a theraband
– Place the middle of the theraband around the sole of the foot and hold the end in both hands. Point and flex the foot keeping the therabandtaught. 
– Make a loop with the band and attach it to one side close to the floor. Put your foot inside the loop. Pull your ankle inwards against the theraband, make sure you are only using the ankle joint and keeping the knee and hip joint secure. 
– Attach the theraband to the other side and put your foot inside the loop. Pull your ankle outwards against the theraband.

 

2. Single leg balance
– Stand on your injured leg and begin to balance for as long as you can. To make this exercise more difficult add an unstable surface or close your eyes.  
3. Single leg hops forwards, backwards, side to side
– Stand on your injured foot, rise onto your toe and hop forwards and backwards. After 10 repetitions begin jumping from side to side. Don’t forget to repeat the exercise on your injured foot aswell

 

4. Squat on unstable surface (wobble board, bosu ball or foam)
– Stand on the surface so that your weight is distributed evenly through both feet. 
– Feet should be about shoulder width apart. Keep your spine straight, bend at your knees and keep your weight through your heels.

Call Longevity, 1300 964 002, to discuss your exercise options today!

Written By Shannon Coolican