Ankle Sprains – How to reduce your risk of a re-sprain
Why am I recurrently spraining my ankle and how do I prevent further sprains?
Up to 40% of patients with lateral ankle sprains will suffer persistent pain, recurrent injury and instability. The main reason for this, is that the ankle sprain is not fully rehabilitated. Most patients may do some simple exercises and when their ankle fells better they stop. BUT, then they re-sprain. Why? Why does this happen and how can I prevent this? What are the best exercises to prevent this?
Lateral ankle sprains are the most common musculoskeletal injury occurring in physically active populations.
In addition to causing immediate pain, swelling and loss of function, up to 40% of patients with lateral ankle sprains will suffer persistent pain, recurrent injury and instability.
The latest evidence has shown that greater than 900 minutes of rehabilitation post ankle sprain is required to reduce the risk of re-injuring the ankle. Most people with ankle sprains do not complete a full and comprehensive rehabilitation program leading to ongoing pain, instability and most importantly – missing out on sport!
Rehabilitation has to include restoring your range of motion to your ankle joint. After a sprain, stiffness in the ankle and lack of full range of motion can prevent proper and full function. This needs to be restored and your physiotherapist is the best person to mobilize and help restore this for you. In addition, improving your strength of the ankle muscles is essential to provide a good base to prevent injury. Most importantly, retraining your balance and proprioception is the last and most crucial piece of the puzzle. As mentioned previously this has to total 900 minutes eg. 3×30 minutes for 8 weeks. That’s a lot of balance exercises! Our physios will show you the correct exercises that are tailored to your specific sport.
If you have chronic instability and ongoing ankle issues, it is not too late to book in to see a physiotherapist to commence your ankle rehabilitation and prevent re-spraining your ankle.
Return-to-sport specific exercises can be tailored by your physiotherapist to allow you to return to sport and reduce the risk of re-injury.
Click on the read more link to read a recent review of evidence on the treatment and prevention of acute and recurrent ankle sprains.
Below are some examples of exercises to increase your ankle proprioception and stability.
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