Hollywood, FL Ankle Sprain Treatment and Prevention
Ankle sprains are one of the common lower extremity injuries in sports. A large percentage (~70%) of individuals sprain an ankle at one point in their life. The good news is that, with proper management and care, you can make a full recovery from your ankle sprain and even come back stronger than before your injury!
Where most folks get into trouble is when the initial ankle sprain is not treated properly, causing the foot/ankle complex to weaken and become more vulnerable to an ankle sprain in the future. A complete treatment plan for an ankle sprain includes the acute inflammation phase, the proliferative (repair) phase, the remodeling phase, and the performance phase.
What is an Ankle Sprain?
An ankle sprain occurs when the ligaments (the connection between two bones) of the ankle are excessively stressed, causing microtears in the connective tissue. When the ligamentous tissue is damaged, it results in inflammation, deconditioning of local musculature, and poor joint proprioception. The most common mechanism of an ankle sprain is when the ankle rolls inward, putting stress on the lateral ligaments.
This multifactorial response of the body to the initial injury is why rehabilitation must be structured and individualized!
How Severe are Ankle Sprains?
Typically ankle sprains are classified grade 1-3 based upon the number of ligaments involved. Grade 1 sprains can resolve in 2-4 weeks, whereas grade 3 sprains may take a number of months to fully resolve.
What should I do if I think I have an ankle sprain?
Any time you are dealing with a traumatic injury, particularly if there is swelling, discoloration, or difficulty walking, it is best to be assessed by a healthcare professional so that the severity of the injury can be assessed as well as the next steps in the recovery process. This evaluation should include a thorough history, orthopedic evaluation, and imaging if necessary.
How is an ankle sprain treated at Miami Spine and Performance in Hollywood, FL?
At Miami Spine and Performance, our treatment for ankle sprains will typically include joint manipulation, soft tissue therapy, nutrition, and rehabilitative exercise. We do not only address the specific tissue that is injury but also factors that may have predisposed you to the ankle sprain, to begin with. This may include evaluation of the foot, hip, your training program, and gait analysis.
Chiropractic Adjustments for Ankle Sprains:
Joint fixations in the foot/ankle complex as well as the hip can predispose you to ankle sprains and can develop after an ankle sprain due to changes in gait associated with an ankle sprain injury. The bottom of the foot and the joints specifically are one of the most neurologically dense areas of the body and if these joints are not moving properly, it can result in poor balance and an increased risk for ankle sprains. Likewise, when the hip is not moving properly, this can cause you to load weight unevenly into the foot, which can result in an increased risk for injury
Active Release Technique for Ankle Sprains
Active Release Technique is a hands-on soft-tissue therapy that is designed to restore optimal tissue texture and movement as well as improve function, flexibility, and strength of soft tissue.
Tibialis Anterior: The tibialis anterior muscle sits at the front of the shin and is typically associated with shin splints. This muscle can also become weak and fibrotic when the ankle is sprained and treatment of this muscle can strengthen the integrity of the ankle complex.
Extensor Digitorum: This muscle also sits along the shin bone and its action is to dorsiflex the ankle and extend the toes. Similar to the tibialis anterior, this muscle is often implicated in shin splints but can also be weakened by ankle sprains.
Peroneus Longus/Brevis: The Peroneus Longus and Brevis muscles help with lateral stability of the ankle and can be strained or even torn during an ankle sprain. It is important to address these muscles with both soft tissue therapy and strengthening exercise during the recovery from an ankle sprain.
The Structures most commonly damaged during an ankle sprain include the three ligaments that support the ankle on the lateral side.
Anterior Talofibular Ligament: This ligament is frequently damaged during an ankle sprain and connects the talus bone on the foot to the anterior side of the fibula on the lateral lower leg.
Posterior Talofibular Ligament: This ligament is frequently damaged during an ankle sprain and connects the talus bone on the foot to the posterior side of the fibula on the lateral lower leg.
Calcaneofibular Ligament: This ligament is frequently damaged during an ankle sprain and connects the calcaneus (heel bone) to the fibular on the lateral lower leg.
In the case of a high ankle sprain the tibiofibular syndesmosis is damaged, which are the ligaments that hold the tibia bone and the fibular bone together and prevent movement between the two structures.
Corrective Exercise for Ankle Sprains:
The Four primary goals of rehabilitating ankle sprains are the following: