Ankle complaints (incl. bone spur)

Bones within a joint can make a compromising movement during sports, or due to a miscalculation in height or distance, causing a strain on the capsules, ligaments and muscles involved. When this is very painful and the involved finger, wrist, elbow, knee or ankle rapidly shows signs of swelling then it is referred to as a sprain. If, after the acute phase of injury there are remaining movement impairments or instability, the Orthopaedic Manual Therapist can help assess and restore proper function.

The therapist is interested in the cause of the sprain and will fully evaluate your complaint and the mechanism or injury.

A sprain can be more likely to occur if:

  • A muscle surrounding the joint is too tense or shortened;
  • There is a poor muscle activation causing too much movement within the joint;
  • The coordination of the movements isn’t optimal. This can be due to neurological factors, but stress an fatigue can also play a role in this;
  • Another joint in the kinetic chain is impaired. The sprain can be due to a compensation as a result of the dysfunction.

A thorough assessment will bring to light any disruption within the kinetic chain. The therapist will mobilise impaired joints and teach you how to stabilise hypermobile joints. Following an ankle sprain, the therapist will not only assess your ankle, but also your foot, knee, hip, pelvis and back. Restoring proper movement patterns is essential to a speedy recovery. This will prevent the reoccurrence of sprains.

How can you prevent reoccurrence of an ankle sprain in de future? There are a few precautionary measures you can take. Firstly, you want to make sure you wear a show that fits your foot well. You can train the lower limbs. You may also use taping or (a better alternative) wear a brace when playing sports. This is especially important for high risk sports such as indoor –and contact sports. Limit the use of these modalities to game day only. It is not recommended to wear a brace (or use tape) during all training sessions because this causes your joints to ‘get used to it’ and therefore not provide you with the adequate active stability. Lastly, and this is a common misconception: the use of bandaging does not protect you against a sprain.

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