Ankle injury is arguably the most common sport injury. I tend to see a lot of patients coming into the practice complaining of repetitively “twisting “ their ankles. They will frustratingly announce ”that’s my bad ankle…I’m always twisting it” upset that they can’t seem to shake off the injury.
Most of the time the reason for these continuous ankle problems, is a history of inadequate rehabilitation, especially in the aspect of balance and proprioception. Proprioception being the sense of knowing where a body part is in space, which is commonly lost after spraining an ankle. So if this is not properly re-taught, the patient is more likely to re-injure that same ankle when they return to sport.
In the initial returning to sport phase ankle braces and strapping can be used to add additional support as well as aid in proprioception of the ankle.
Exercises such as standing on one leg and trying to balance, progressing to closing your eyes while standing on the injured leg as well as standing on an unstable surface such as a balance board will all help improve your proprioception and balance.
Once you are comfortable with these more basic exercises you can now progress to more sport specific balance exercise. Focusing on keeping your balance while performing movements’ specific to your sport, the exercises are limitless.
The problem being most patients, once the pain is gone, stop there and don’t continue with the full rehabilitation program. So if you want to prevent those recurring nagging ankle injuries remember balance is the key.
BY: Andrew Savvides
Ankle injuries, Foot injuries, General Health/Fitness, Lower Limb injuries