Over the course of the year, we see trends in the injuries we see.
During spring and summer, we see a large number of tendon injuries.
During the winter months, we see more lower back pain and acute neck pain. When people work from home, we see more neck and shoulder pain; and when people get sick, we see headaches and neck stiffness. During our Winter Sport Seasons, we see trends too. The most common injuries we see during this time are: 1) Ankle injuries 2) Knee injuries 3) Back and hip pain 4) Shoulder pain 5) Wrist and hand injuries This blog focusses on ankle injuries.
An ankle sprain occurs when the ligaments of the ankle are torn or stretched. This usually happens when the ankle rolls outward (inversion) or inwards (eversion), but can also happen from repeated strain, or twisting.
We see it frequently where someone lands funny, changes direction and slips, or lands on the edge of another player’s foot.
This can be very painful at the time and may cause you to leave the field/court.
You may or may not be able to walk on it straight away. It may also make a pop or crack noise and become swollen and bruised.
We have a series of assessments we follow (known as the Ottawa Ankle Rules) to determine whether you need an x-ray.
Most of the time, ankle injuries do not require an x-ray and respond well to walking on them (sometimes with support).
By An svg version of image:Ankle.PNG by me (Jak). - A vector version of the original image found here , Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1981086
What should you do immediately?
PEACE & LOVE
You may have heard of the old RICE principles? We now use PEACE & LOVE instead!
Based on new research, new guidelines have been developed for looking after injuries.
P = PROTECT
Protect the injury from further harm. Come off the court/field if you need to and have a professional assess it for you.
E = ELEVATE
where possible, elevate the injured ankle higher than the heart.
A = AVOID ANTI-INFLAMMATORIES
Contrary to popular belief, taking anti-inflammatories in the initial 48 hours after an injury is not advised. Our bodies actually need aspects of the inflammatory response to remove injured tissue and lay new tissue for optimal healing.
C = COMPRESSION
Wrap ankle in a compression bandage or flexible brace. This will assist with pain, and also limit tissue haemorrhage in the area.
E = EDUCATE
Seek professional help from a physiotherapist for further assessments and to guide your rehabilitation.
A thorough physio assessment will give you details about your injury and joint health. It should also give you a plan to return to full sport and exercise, and strategies for injury prevention in future.
What will rehab look like?
This is where LOVE comes in!
L = LOAD
It is important to load your ankle and muscles in an appropriate way after injury. This will allow your other muscles to stay strong and ensure optimal joint and ligament healing.
Loading should progressively increase and may be guided by pain, movement or function.
This will be closely monitored by your physiotherapist and may be assisted with taping or bracing.
O = OPTIMISM
The brain plays a significant role in injury rehabilitation and speed of returning to sport.
Our physios will answer all concerns you have, and act on anything out of the ordinary to give you peace of mind.
You need to know you are in safe hands, and this injury will get better.
V = VASCULARISATION
Early mobilisation and pain free movement and exercise is vital in recovery from injury.
Hands-on physiotherapy techniques will ensure movement is regained within the first 2 weeks, and safe exercise is commenced from day 1.
E = EXERCISE
Exercise Therapy is vital and should always be paired with hands-on physiotherapy.
An exercise-based program to regain movement, stability and strength will always be paired with treatment.
This decreases pain, decreases recovery time and decreases the amount of physiotherapy you need,
It has the added bonus of decreasing risk of future injury too!
No two ankle injuries are the same, and no two rehabilitation paths are identical.
If you have an injury, please seek individualised advice and assessment.
We can help with recovery from injury, prevention of future injury and return to sport, exercise and performance.
If you need help, or want us to guide your journey, click “Book Now” below to get started.