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Weak ankles? *Graphic Image. Viewer Discretion Advised! 

Round 1 of the NBA and for any of those who follow basketball, you would’ve seen the rather sickening ankle injury sustained by a Boston Celtics player. (For those who are wondering no the foot is not meant to point in that direction. Whilst we do occasionally see nasty injuries like this, the most common ankle injury that we see is an ankle sprain.



 

Lateral (outer) ankle ligament sprains are the most common sporting injury, particularly with close contact sports such as netball, basketball and football. Whilst the majority of ankle sprains are relatively quick to recover (Taking anything from1-2 weeks to 12 weeks depending on the severity), high re-injury rates suggest optimal rehabilitation is needed. Without optimal recovery time and rehabilitation, the chances of ongoing ankle pain and instability are increased, which often leads to an inability to return to sport at the same level as pre-injury.
 
So what does optimal rehabilitation consist of? This will be varied slightly depending on the ligaments (and other structures) damaged during the sprain as well as the level and type of sport the individual is returning to. The basic areas that need to be worked on and progressed during rehabilitation are;
  • Reducing swelling and pain (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation and sometimes crutches)
  • Regain normal walking patterns
  • Basic balance and ankle position awareness exercises
  • Maintaining optimal ankle flexibility and strength of the surrounding muscles
  • Mid - high level landing/turning and balance exercises
  • Return to full training and playing after regaining full confidence in the ankle and ticking off specific return to sport markers
Some ankle injuries occur due to circumstances and at speeds that cannot be prevented but ensuring you do the appropriate rehabilitation after an ankle injury definitely decreases your chance of further injuries.

If you have sprained your ankle/ are having ongoing issues with ankle stability or if you need exercises to strengthen your ankles to try and prevent future sprains, contact us at Ascend Physiotherapy on 9387 2699 and we’ll get you back on track to achieving your peak potential.