This post was last updated on October 17th, 2022 at 10:04 am
Ankle sprains are frequent, and repeated sprains can result in a swollen, painful ankle, difficulty walking on uneven terrain, and the risk of re-injury. The Physiotherapist at Incline Health starts by asking, “How did you become hurt?” Was there a significant amount of force used? What occurred after that – was the patient able to walk or did they have to go to the hospital? Was an x-ray taken?
The amount of pain experienced following the injury indicates how seriously the joint has been injured. In the case of a fracture or serious ligament injury, very high pain levels or discomfort that does not gradually diminish are warning indicators, and the physiotherapist at Leichhardt may request a reassessment. The location of the injury on the ankle can be inferred from the source of pain and verified by physio tests later.
Special queries are asked regarding the patient’s healthcare background and prior traumas, any medications they are taking, their appetite, whether they are losing weight, their sleep quality and morning discomfort, their bladder and bowel function, and any relevant family history. This is done to rule out any significant underlying conditions so that therapy can proceed safely.
How Physiotherapists examine a sprained ankle
Dorsiflexion (drawing the ankle up), plantarflexion (pointing the foot down), eversion (turning the foot outwards), and inversion (turning the foot inwards) are ankle movements recorded up on the bed without weight-bearing (turning the sole of the foot inwards toward the other foot).
The movements educate the therapist about the patient’s desire to move despite discomfort and fear, and restricted motions provide crucial information about the joint.
The physio will manually test the ankle muscles to see whether there is any calf muscle injury, generally on the bed or standing up, before moving on to a passive assessment. The physio carefully extends the ankle in each direction to check for injury to the joint structures before palpating the whole joint to determine which structure is injured.
Treatment protocols for Physiotherapy
Protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation (PRICE) are the first steps in physiotherapy treatment. The use of a brace to prevent aberrant joint mobility and additional injury is known as protection. Rest is essential for damaged structures because it allows the component to rest without being stressed. Cryotherapy, often known as cold/ice therapy, is an effective way to decrease pain and edema.
For joint stiffness or discomfort, the physiotherapist may utilize manual treatment, which helps the physiotherapist to enhance joint gliding motions and restore normal joint mechanics.
This relieves joint stiffness, loosens the joint, and relieves discomfort, allowing you to begin weight-bearing workouts. Static exercises are done at first while holding on, then dynamic activities are used without assistance.
Conclusion:- The brain constantly analyses the ankle position and instructs the muscles to contract in order to avoid potentially harmful situations. Balancing on one leg, standing on a wobble board, and finally tossing and catching a ball are all part of the rehab process.
The ankle is retrained in balance and coordination until it can run and leap on uneven ground. When pain has decreased, motions are normal, strength has returned, and proprioception (the feeling of joint position) has been restored, the ankle has recovered.