If you play sport – especially a fast paced, high energy sport there’s a good chance that you or someone in your team has twisted their ankle during a game or training in the past.
Typically ankle injuries will occur as a non-contact injury when the athlete is pivoting, landing or changing direction on one leg. The most common type of ankle sprain is called a supination injury – where the foot will roll inwards. This causes pain and inflammation to occur on the outside of the ankle.
The initial management of ankle injuries is often quite good. This includes icing the affected area (20mins on/40mins off), elevation of the leg above the heart, compression and rest.
However, people playing at an amateur level often tend to manage their injury by themselves. They usually wait until the ankle feels a bit better to run on and then return to their sport.
The problem with this type of management is that it makes the athlete much more susceptible to re-injuring the ankle. The ankle becomes unstable, and in most cases the athlete will continue to re-injure their ankle during the rest of their playing career.
With good management of the ankle injuries, this can be easily avoided. An essential part of the management of every ankle injury is having a Physiotherapy assessment.
Your Enhance Physio can assess the extent of the ankle injury and facilitate the initial healing response. After that, we will provide exercises to train the muscles of the lower leg and foot to act as stabilisers during activity. This means the likelihood of re-injury is much lower.
Although acute injury management in sport is important, what happens after that is the key to successful return to sport.
Injury prevention is always better than injury management so make sure you are physically prepared to return to the demands of competitive sport after your next injury!