If you are experiencing ankle pain that just won’t go away, there is a large chance you’ve suffered a sprain. A sprain is the overstretching or tearing of a ligament, and they happen pretty often! The most commonly experienced type is an inversion ankle sprain, which is more casually referred to as “rolling your ankle.”
Ankle sprains can be treated naturally and safely with the help of a physical therapist at
Austin Manual Therapy Associates. To learn more about ankle sprains and when to seek professional help for pain relief, keep on reading!
How did I sprain my ankle?
Did you know that your foot has 24 bones, 30 joints, and over 100 ligaments, tendons, and muscles? That’s a whole lot to work with down there, but it’s true! Because there are so many complex structures making up your feet and ankles, experiencing pain in those extremities is a common issue many people suffer from.
A sprain happens when a ligament (the tissue that connects one bone to another) is stretched or torn. A sprain can also happen when there is damage to a joint capsule or the part of the ankle or foot that adds stability to the joint. Symptoms of sprains include pain, inflammation, muscle spasm, and sometimes an inability to move your foot or ankle.
Whether you trip, fall, or twist your foot or ankle “wrong,” foot and ankle pain that stems from a sprain is often the result of some sort of injury. However, it is also commonly due to an underlying weakness in the muscles of the foot or leg. In fact, any accumulation of factors can lead to insidious onset of pain, including loss of range of motion, altered movement patterns, balance issues, and overall affected mobility.
People who sprain their ankle often find that they are continuously re-injuring that part of their body and may begin to lean on over-the-counter medication for pain relief. Fortunately, this does not have to be the case for you, because there are better and safer ways to handle your pain condition!
Three steps to handling an ankle sprain
The first thing you should do when you suspect you’ve hurt your ankle is to determine if it’s a low-grade type of strain or sprain, and not something more serious. If you simply cannot bear to put any weight on the ankle, this probably means you need a professional to take a look and perform some diagnostic tests.
The second thing that needs to take place is to get the swelling under control. When swelling occurs, it’s because of vessel damage and subsequent bleeding. This is the best time for the RICE method to be used: rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
Once 2-3 days have passed, and more serious conditions are eliminated, switching to heat and gentle movement is probably best. But the swelling and soreness from the initial vascular injury are not the only causes of ankle pain.
The third and last thing that needs to be done is to assess for joint dysfunctions and nerve irritability. Some ankle pain may linger for a time after the initial bruising and swelling have cleared. Causes could be the joint is stuck out of position or shifted. Manipulation to restore proper alignment and mobility may be needed, and that’s where a physical therapist at (practice name) in (town) can come in!
How can a physical therapist help me recover from an ankle sprain?
A physical therapy program can play a major role in your recovery, as physical therapists know a multitude of different ways to successfully treat and reduce pain, including ankle sprains! We can improve your coordination and strength during your treatment as well.
At (practice name) in (town), we employ a variety of treatment methods to help you recover from your ankle sprain, such as active and passive treatment. Active treatment in physical therapy involves targeted exercises and stretches. Passive treatment involves electrical stimulation, ultrasound, massage, and heat therapy. Electrical stimulation and heat therapy are very effective for reducing ankle pain.
Our physical therapists will perform a thorough examination and pinpoint the source of your ankle pain to create your very own specialized treatment plan. Your program will include several exercises that target the muscles that keep the foot or ankle supported and reduce the stress placed on those parts of your body.
The goal of physical therapy is to help you return to your normal work, home, and sports activities, free of ankle pain. We can help you to identify what activities might be aggravating your symptoms and we’ll also discuss with you any activity modifications you may need to make as well.
Ready to have your pain addressed?
We know that no two ankle injuries are the same. That’s why we provide a uniquely thorough and holistic evaluation for every patient, every time. Our therapists have the highest expertise and the most advanced specialized training in Orthopedic Physical Therapy comprehensive examination and diagnosis.
They know how to get to the root of the problem once and for all, and help you take preventative measures to reduce the likelihood of reinjury. It doesn’t matter if your injury is the result of an accident, or wearing the wrong shoes during a sport: we’ve got your back and we’re here to make sure you feel supported and confident as you recover.
Call our clinic today to have your condition assessed. We’re here to help you recover from your ankle sprain and get back up on your feet!