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Physiotherapy for Ankle Sprains

The ankle is one of the most commonly sprained joints in our body. Unfortunately 50% of people who suffer from an ankle sprain do not seek treatment, which is partly why the risk of re-injury within one year is as high as 70%. Importantly, research shows that repetitive ankle sprains significantly increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis later in life, plus it tends to develop earlier due to the repetitive trauma associated with ankle instability.

Fortunately, an effective physiotherapy treatment program can not only relieve your current pain, but also reduce your risk of future sprains. At Central Performance our team uses the latest and most effective evidence-based treatment available to relieve your pain, restore your strength and balance, and reduce your risk of future injury.

Our physiotherapists use a combination of hands-on treatment plus targeted exercise to keep you active while relieving your pain. We see clients with ankle sprains from a wide variety of causes including:

  • lateral (outer) and Deltoid (medial) ankle ligament sprains
  • return to sport strength and proprioception (balance and control) programs, especially following recurrent ankle sprains
  • syndesmosis injuries
  • rehabilitation following ankle and foot surgery or fractures (broken bones)

Steps to Physiotherapy Management of Ankle Sprains

Your Initial Assessment And Diagnosis                     

Your physiotherapy program starts with an in-depth initial assessment to determine the extent of your ankle sprain and clarify your diagnosis. This includes taking a full subjective history, finding your painful movements and performing a thorough physical examination including specific ligament testing. Your physiotherapist will thoroughly explore all the relevant factors to ensure we make an accurate diagnosis, and if they feel that an x-ray is required they will discuss this with you and give you a referral.

During your first session your physiotherapist will take time to clearly explain your diagnosis to you. They will highlight relevant anatomy and factors that have contributed to your injury, plus guide you through your treatment recovery plan. Your individual goals are very important when planning your treatment, so your physio will discuss your goals with you and clarify how your treatment plan will help you achieve them.

Your Physiotherapy Treatment Program

Although each client’s situation and plan are unique, there are usually four main stages in your journey to recovery;

  1. Relieve your pain and restore your full range of movement
  2. Specific strength exercises for your ankle, lower limb and hips
  3. Screening and correction of whole-body mechanics that may have contributed to your injury. This may include flexibility, strengthening and balance work.
  4. Returning to sport and activity, including specific strengthening and flexibility exercises for a safe return to all of your normal lifestyle and sporting activities.

Regaining your full strength, mobility, stability and balance become a real focus as your recovery continues. Many clients find that completing a targeted exercise program with one of our exercise physiologists is a very effective way to fully recover and minimise your risk of future problems.and

Returning To Sport And Activity

This important last stage of your recovery involves you transitioning back to your full range of activities, including sport and exercise as well as overall lifestyle activities. Every activity is different and therefore puts different demands on your ankle, so this stage is highly individualised to target your personal goals and activities. We maximise your resilience and performance through functional strength and conditioning to keep you active and performing at your best into the future.

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