I often encounter clients that say, “Ever since I had that sprained ankle, my foot has never been quite the same”.
Usually, they are having difficulties with things like climbing stairs, squatting and getting a good calf stretch – because the ankle feels like it is “stuck”.
A sprained ankle is a particularly common injury within certain sports such as touch football, netball and basketball. Watching my daughter play netball one weekend recently, I noticed several players experience this terrible traumatic event.
What’s Happening Inside a Sprained Ankle?
When we sprain or roll our ankle, our immediate reaction is to catch our breath from the pain, as we watch it swelling up before our very eyes. Obviously, we’ve done some ligament or muscle damage. Ouch!
What is not so commonly known however, is that when you sprain your ankle, you have also:
- placed incredible abnormal forces on the bones and joints in your foot and surrounding structures. With 26 bones and 43 joints in the foot, there is a lot of potential for something to go wrong!
- disrupted the neurological pathway connecting your foot to your brain. Normally, we don’t need to think about being able to walk; our brain automatically knows the position of our feet, and how to move them. However, a sprained ankle can affect these messages between brain and foot.
This is why people often feel that the sprained ankle just “isn’t quite right”, many months afterwards – a lot more has been impacted, than just the ligaments or muscles of the foot.
Treating a sprained ankle begins with applying ice to reduce swelling and bruising, and perhaps seeking out x-rays for potential foot fractures. For many people, that’s as far as it goes. However, it’s important to seek treatment from your local podiatrist to achieve complete healing of a sprained ankle.
How Foot Mobilisation Therapy Helps with Healing a Sprained Ankle
Foot Mobilisation Therapy is a fairly recent development in the field of podiatry. It is a simple process incorporating gentle traction or stretch, while placing the joint through the normal range of movement.
The foot mobilisation technique allows the joint to simply realign itself. Sometimes, the patient may be lucky enough to hear a click or a pop when this happens, though not always. It’s not painful, and the pop or click does not indicate any form of damage – rather, that full range of movement in the joint has been restored.
What to Expect from Your Local Podiatrist
Your local podiatrist will work with you to regain muscular strength in your foot and leg, through the use of specific exercises, often using a resistance band (or theraband).
Restoring the electrical pathways between brain and foot (and vice versa) is an important part of the healing process. Your podiatrist may apply kinetic tape, to remind your body how the foot is supposed to function; and teach you simple balance exercises.
The good news is – the days of limping for a significant period of time, resulting in potential secondary problems such as sore knees and lower back pain – are now a thing of the past.
If you are a sports lover, there is nothing worse than having to sit on the sidelines due to injury. With Foot Mobilisation Therapy, you can be back to your beloved game, faster than you ever imagined!
Did you know – we are the only Redlands podiatry clinic with podiatrists qualified to provide Foot Mobilisation Therapy? If you are suffering any pain or difficulties with movement following an ankle sprain, call for an appointment with either Trevor Lane or Lachlan Whitwell today, on 3207 4736.