Manage Your Lateral Ankle Sprain

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Rolled your ankle?! Ankle sprains are the most common injury in sports and physical activity, estimating to be about 25% of all injuries across sports. Of all ankle injuries 85% involve the lateral ankle ligaments. There is strong evidence suggesting there is an increase risk of re-spraining your ankle as much as two fold within the first year of spraining your ankle. Yes, the ankle needs to be addressed but so do BOTH hips. According to an article by Bullock-Saxton et al. 1994, ankle sprain injuries can affect hip muscle activation. The study found a delay in the onset of activation of the gluteus maximus with changes occurring on both sides! Another study by the same lead authors also found a decrease in local sensation and vibration perception as well as a decrease in bilateral proximal muscle function changes and local sensory changes. Now What?! 1) Get Things Moving in Non Weight Bearing - we want to get motion as soon as possible that is tolerable 2) Integrate Core & Hip Strengthening - we need to get the hip muscles activated and working again 3) Re-introduce Weight Bearing Exercises, Agility, and Proprioception - As we return to normal activities, it is important to challenge the dynamic ankle and hip stabilizers, and re-train local sensation at the ankle! This is a snapshot of an ankle sprain rehab program! It is recommended a skilled movement practitioner, such as a physical therapist, evaluates you and guides you through the progressions when it is appropriate to do so. If you’re in the greater Los Angeles area, contact us! References: Bullock-Saxton J E, Janda V, Bullock M I. The influence of ankle sprain injury on muscle activation during hip extension. Int J Sports Med. 1994;15:330–334. Bullock-Saxton J E. Sensory changes associated with severe ankle sprain. Scand J Rehabil Med. 1995;27:161–167.

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