Why is my ankle sore?
Ankle joint is a structure that comprises of 2 joints - true ankle joint in which the leg bones (tibia and fibula) meet the foot (through bone called talus) and subtalar joint where the talus meets the heel bone also called calcaneus. The bones in the ankle joint are supported by network of ligaments, tendons and muscles passing around and attaching to the ankle bones.
The main causes of ankle pain are:
- injuries - sprained ankle, ankle fracture
- arthritis - both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
- Achilles tendon tendonitis or tendinosis or AT rupture
- flat feet
How is ankle pain treated?
Will Physiotherapy help with my ankle pain?
Depending on the reason for your ankle pain treatment varies. Ice, rest, elevation might work in the initial stages after ankle injury or surgery. Medication, injections, loosing weight or surgery might be needed if the cause of pain is arthritis.
Physiotherapy is an important part of whichever medical intervention is decided on to treat the cause of your ankle pain. The right physio intervention will help you to get better regardless if you need surgery or conservative treatment. Physiotherapy will help to:
- strengthen your weak muscles and release tense or shortened muscles and tendons
- increase range of movement
- improve weightbearing through the ankle and improve gait pattern
- improve balance and stability
- get you ready to return to sport or work
- ease of the symptoms of inflammation like pain and swelling
- get you going after ankle surgery
Based on the assessment a treatment session with us might include:
- tailored exercise program to strengthen the weak muscles, stretch the tight / shortened muscles, improve balance and weightbearing through the ankle joint
- work on specific functional deficits to get you back to work, sport or any leisure activity
- oedema / swelling management
- soft tissue work / myofascial release
- neuromuscular therapy
- electrotherapy or ultrasound
- scar therapy (if post surgery)
- gait re-education including correct use of mobility aids as Zimmer frame, walker, crutches or walking stick
- advise on footwear and / or orthotics
treatment for Ankle sprain
Sprained ankles are a common cause of ankle pain. An ankle sprain happens when ligaments stretch or tear when the ankle rolls forcefully out of its normal position.
If you have gone over on your ankle and have one of these symptoms the chances are you have a sprained ankle:
- severe pain on the outer side of your ankle at the time of the injury, the pain can subside a bit and you might even be able to walk on the injured ankle but the pain will come back after you have rested
- moderate to large swelling on the outer side of the ankle and into the outer side of your foot
- haematoma / bruising under the ankle
- tenderness on touch and when trying to move the foot in (stretching the outer side of the ankle)
Depending on severity of the injury the ankle sprains can be graded:
Grade 1: Your ankle will probably feel sore and may be slightly swollen. In this case, the ligament has been overstretched but not torn.
Grade 2: You have a partial tear in the ligament. This causes prolonged pain and swelling.
Grade 3: This is a full tear of the ankle ligament.
THE TREATMENT of the sprained ankle will depend on the grade of your sprain. The first couple of days you will be advised to follow the RICE method: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Depending how severe the injury is you might be required to wear an ankle support boot and your medical professional will advise you on whether you can weight bear (put some weight through your injured leg when walking ) or if you need to keep your foot off the ground - either way you will be most likely using crutches or walking aid. After just 3 days you might start doing some very gentle exercises as advised by your physiotherapist. As the ankle heals the exercises will become more challenging with aim to make the ankle stable and strong to withstand walking without support and eventually being able to return to sport, work or any leisure activity.
At Perfect Therapy we have the experience and state of art equipment to help you recover fast after the ankle injury. Our treatment of sprained ankle would usually include:
- hydrotherapy with underwater massage
- contrast baths (hot /cold tretment)
- electrotherapy and ultrasound
- lymphatic drainage
- graded exercise program - starting with range of movement and strengthening gradually progressing to stability work using amongst other things our Posturomed balance system