Ankle sprains are an extremely common diagnosis. In the United States alone, there are about 2 million ankle sprains every year. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find someone who has never sprained their ankle. Many people are able to simply let their ankle heal on their own. But for some, ankle sprains happen again and again… and there is a reason behind this.
The ankle is a complex joint that must be able to move over different surfaces, but not become so loose as to be unstable. When you sprain your ankle, you stretch or tear ligaments that hold your ankle together. In healing, sometimes these ligaments do not return to their original length, and remain lengthened. Studies show that about 20% of people who sprain their ankle go on to develop chronic ankle instability. This is thought to be one of the reasons why those who have sprained their ankle are more likely to do it again.
Don’t let your ankles get weaker!
Recurring ankle sprains are a big deal. Chronic ankle instability increases the risk of having future sprains that are more severe than the last. Serious ankle sprains can have long lasting symptoms, too. 40% of people report having pain related to an ankle sprain that happened over a year ago. So how do we fix it?
Exercises to promote strengthening of the ankle, as well as movement following the sprain have been shown to be beneficial. This is because these exercises encourage control of the joint and ligament strengthening, so that re-injury is less likely to happen! This is where the importance of physical therapy comes in. Physical therapy takes the guesswork out of rehabilitation, and can help build a stronger ankle than you had even before injury. With the guidance of a therapist, exercises to strengthen the unique weaknesses that led to your sprain will help you recover faster and decrease risk of future sprains! Additionally, treatments for ankle pain, such as microcurrent, laser, and dry needling can reduce pain and induce healing.
You deserve strong ankles
The ankle is involved in so many parts of life: walking, playing with your kids, doing sports, you name it. Having fully functional ankles is something everyone should want! If you have questions about what Synergy Physical Therapy & Wellness can do for you, or you want to schedule an appointment to see a therapist, feel free to call us at 719-568-9790. Our team has dealt with many ankle injuries, and we are confident in our ability to help you reach your pain-free goals.
Mugno AT, Constant D. Recurrent Ankle Sprain. 2021 Aug 11. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan–. PMID: 32809454.
Herzog, M. M., Kerr, Z. Y., Marshall, S. W., & Wikstrom, E. A. (2019). Epidemiology of Ankle Sprains and Chronic Ankle Instability. Journal of athletic training, 54(6), 603–610. https://doi.org/10.4085/1062-6050-447-17
Delahunt, E., & Remus, A. (2019). Risk Factors for Lateral Ankle Sprains and Chronic Ankle Instability. Journal of athletic training, 54(6), 611–616. https://doi.org/10.4085/1062-6050-44-18
Image from: https://sa1s3optim.patientpop.com/assets/images/provider/photos/1822708.gif