Ankle Injuries Bodywell

Ankle Sprains and Osteopathy

Blog

Have you recently injured your ankle? Are you someone who is always ‘rolling their ankle’? Whether it’s a new or a recurring injury, finding the right path to recovery is crucial.

What happens when you sprain your ankle?

The word ‘sprain’ refers to ligaments; an ankle sprain occurs when the ligaments of the ankle are stretched or torn due to an excessive stretching, or twisting force. The ligaments on the outside of the ankle are the most commonly affected when an ankle sprain occurs.
Ankle sprains can range from mild to severe, depending on whether the ligaments are partially or fully torn, and it is therefore essential that the proper assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation are sought post-injury.

Ankle Sprain Bodywell

What should you do if you sprain your ankle?

The first 24-48 hours

The first 1-2 days following an ankle sprain are crucial for managing pain, reducing swelling, and preventing any further damage. Utilising the RICE protocol: Rest, Ice Compression, Elevation. Looking after your ankle in the short term will give you the best chance at making a speedy recovery!

Gentle range of motion exercises such as ankle circles can be done to help maintain flexibility and prevent stiffness.

Our osteopaths are able to determine the severity of the ankle sprain and plan a management program to get you back moving as soon as appropriate. If necessary, we may recommend imaging to rule out or confirm more severe ligament or bone injuries.

Your ankle may benefit from taping, and this is something we can offer as part of your consultation.

Bruised Ankle Bodywell

The next 2-4 weeks

Once the inflammation has reduced, we can begin the rehab process with the goal of restoring strength, mobility, and function to the ankle joint. This can include things like calf stretches, calf raises, and proprioception (balancing) exercises. As the ankle regains function and strength we target your rehabilitation to activity and sport specific goals.

At this stage, a mild sprain might be okay to return to full activity, whereas moderate or severe sprains may need further treatment and rehabilitation.

 

Long term

It is important to not assume everything is back to normal just because you no longer are experiencing pain! Depending on the severity of the sprain, the ligaments may still not be back to full strength and therefore vulnerable to re-injury. Strengthening the ankle joint, with specific rehabilitation exercises and functional strength and balance exercises will be a priority, as it helps increase stability and decrease the likelihood of future sprains reoccurring.

Treating Ankle Bodywell

How can our osteopaths help at Bodywell Healthcare?

We will do a thorough assessment to work out the cause of your ankle pain and to see if further imaging is needed. We then use manual therapy techniques including articulation, manipulation, and soft tissue massage, to improve drainage and swelling, improve mobility, and reduce muscle tension.
We will also assess the rest of your lower limb, spine, and pelvis regions to look for compensatory patterns and make sure that all of your body is moving optimally.

A large part of our treatment is creating an individualised exercise program to help you improve proprioception (your body’s awareness of where your foot is in space), strength, and mobility in your ankle joint. These programs will also look at sport specific exercises so you can get back to participating in your chosen sport as soon as possible.

Ankle injuries may be common, but with the right approach, you can navigate the path to recovery successfully. Osteopathic treatment, coupled with simple at-home care, can make a difference in healing and minimising future issues.

To book an appointment with one of our friendly practitioners at Bodywell, click HERE .