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How Common Are Ankle Sprains In Sports?
Ankle sprains are quite common in sports. As such, they are widespread in the practice of sports physiotherapy. People are forever searching for different ways to reduce or treat them. Unfortunately, quite a number of them go on to have long term issues. This has led to the development of plenty of rehabilitation and treatment programs.
Fact about ankle sprains
Like earlier mentioned, ankle sprains are a common thing in all types of sporting activities. According to a recent research, the annual incidence of ankle sprain injuries is seven out of a thousand people. Luckily, they respond well to standard conservative physiotherapy management. Unfortunately, ongoing pain and symptoms at long-term follow-up is reportedly as high as 70%. Moreover, reported re-injury rate is as high as 85%.
Recovery times normally vary from four weeks for mild sprains to more than twelve weeks for people that have done a proper job at it. Being able to walk in an almost normal way within two days is often a good sign that the patient will make a good recovery. But whichever the case, the recovery time of ankle sprains is hugely dependent on what structures of your leg you have injured.
How do you know you have a torn a ligament?
If there is some local bruising and swelling in any area of the ligament and is painful when pressure is applied on it, then you can be pretty sure that you have at least a partially torn ligament. In this case, there are three grades of ligament tears. These include:
• Grade one: The patient has just torn a few of the fibres of the ligament. With this type, there is only a mild area of swelling.
• Grade Two: The patient has torn quite a number of fibres, but not all of them. With this, there is normally a lot of swelling, and it is quite painful to stretch the affected ligament.
• Grade three: The patient has fully torn ligaments. There is a lot of swelling in the affected area and it is might not be painful to stretch the ligament as there is nothing left to stretch. The affected joint moves a lot further than what it should.
This being the case, a simple ankle sprain injury is not as simple as most people tend to believe. Current research into recurring inversion ankle sprains has recognized dysfunction at joints such as:
• Subtalar joint
• Distal tibiofibular
• Proximal tibiofibular
Manual therapy techniques are aimed at treating the above mentioned joint dysfunctions. This treatment is highly warranted given the previous findings of manual therapy benefits in restoring:
• Step length
• Posterior talar glide
• Ankle dorsiflexion
Whichever your ankle sprain type, physical therapists recommend the following interventions:
These sorts of exercises include:
• Functional weight-bearing activities
• Balance or proprioception exercises that include balance board and single leg stance
• Band and body-weight resistance exercises
• Gentle strengthening
• Foot and ankle manual exercises
These exercises are recommended by top physiotherapists based on the individual patient and clinical decision making.