Those Pesky Ankle Sprains
Lateral ankle sprains are not just the most common injuries suffered during athletic activities. They are also experienced during normal activities especially when wearing high heels. Early diagnosis along with functional treatment and rehabilitation are keys to prevent re-injury and chronic ligament insufficiency.
What are Ankle Sprains
Diagnosis of a lateral ankle sprain is made through a thorough subjective examination taking note of the mechanism of injury and then by specific objective test completed by your physiotherapist or medical professional.
The common mechanisms of ankle sprains occur with the foot rotation inwards in plantar flexion, that is down and forward.
The most common ligament injured in the ankle is the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL). Ankle sprains as well as other ligament injuries are classified into three different types depending on the level of injury, degree of instability and level of functional loss.
Grade I injury represents a microscopic injury without stretching of the ligament on a macroscopic level.
· Grade II injury has macroscopic stretching, but the ligament remains intact.
· Grade III injury is a complete rupture of the ligament.
How long will I be out of action?
How long it takes to heal depends on the severity of the sprain and mechanism of injury. Grade I sprains usually take one to two weeks to heal completely. Grade II sprains can take up to six weeks. Grade III sprains can take six months or longer to heal completely. Everyone is individual and their sporting and lifestyle demands just as unique. For best results returning to sport and work should be facilitated by one of our physiotherapists who will help to prevent any secondary complications that may impede your return.
3 Tips to best prevent ankle sprains
· It all starts at the feet.
Appropriate footwear which is well fitting and which provides adequate support to the make up of your foot
· Balance is key!
Adequate balance and proprioception will put you in good stead when wanting to avoid ankle injuries. Practicing and testing your balance on different surfaces and under different conditions with aid in the prevention of ankle sprains.
· Listen to your body.
If you experience ankle pain during sport, stop the activity or modify the activity until the pain subsides. If you have been injured you should go through an appropriate period of rehabilitation to prevent recurrent injuries
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