Are you someone who rolls their ankle each and every netball season?! Or playing football or soccer?
Have you ever taken the time to properly rehabilitate your ankle injury?
Unfortunately, after the first instance of ankle instability or “rolling your ankle” the ligaments in the ankle are torn to some degree and do not get replaced with lovely, shiny new ligament tissue, but scar tissue instead.
Ligaments join bone to bone, and their primary role in the body is to stabilise a joint and protect it from injury. The body does its best at repairing the ligament after an injury but often the ligaments remain a bit lax. This puts your ankle at further risk of another episode of instability.
The good news is that you can assist these ligaments in doing their job by training your muscles and improving the control around your injured joint.
Three things to check to assess your risk of ankle injuries:
- Ankle mobility – check if the movement in your ankle joint is up to standard by comparing it to the uninjured side. If there is a significant difference, you’ll need to address this first. This can be improved via exercises, stretches and manual therapy from your Physio.
- Calf strength – can you do the same number of calf raises on each leg? Can you get above 23? If not, you will benefit from some calf strengthening.
- Balance: smaller muscles around the ankle and foot are effected with each ankle rolling episode. They also are the ones that help prevent your ankle rolling so you need to ensure you train them to start working again. Test your balance by standing on one leg – make it harder by standing on a pillow or closing your eyes. Are both sides equal?
Have you identified a problem?
The easy thing is that these three tests can just become your first exercises to start with.
Use the knee to wall to improve range in your ankle, use your single leg calf raises to improve your calf strength and start to challenge your balance by starting to stand on some different surfaces and introducing things like closing your eyes.
If you still suffer ankle instability and it is something that has hindered your lifestyle or performance, book in for an individualised assessment and we can help you to prevent further ankle sprains.
If you are having issues with your ankle, come and see us in the clinic for an individualised assessment.