Thursday, April 28, 2005

What Everybody Should Know...About How To Recover From Ankle Injuries By Rich Lauro

Before we get into specific exercises to help you recover faster from your ankle injury. Let's first take a look at what the ankle joint does. It allows the foot to move upward (dorsiflexion) and downward (plataflexion) as well as inward (inversion) and outward (eversion).

Muscles, tendons and ligaments surround the ankle joint and provide stability for standing, walking and running. When a sprain occurs the ligaments of the ankle are either stretched, partially torn or completely torn. The most common type of sprain is an inversion sprain this happens when the foot rotates inward. There are three types of sprains.

Type 1 or mild sprain occurs when ligaments are stretched and inflamed.
Type 2 is a moderate sprain that occurs when some ligaments are partially torn.
Type 3 is the most severe of all three. With this type of sprain there is a complete tear of all three ligaments, This creates a very unstable ankle joint. Leaving only muscles to support the joint.
The primary treatment for acute sports injury is R.I.C.E.

R-Rest the injured area by staying off your feet for at least 48 hours. Until the pain and swelling subsides.

I- Ice the injured area every 20 minutes up to 5 times per day.

C-Compression by compressing the injured area you will reduce the swelling associated with ankle sprains.

E- Elevation by elevating the injured area you will also reduce swelling

Make an appointment with a Muscle Activation Technique Therapist as soon as possible.

Case Study: A client recently came to my MAT clinic with a grade 1 ankle sprain. x-rays were taken at the emergency room to rule out any broken or fractured bones. So I proceeded with the MAT evaluation.

The evaluation showed the following muscles to be inhibited due to the trauma from the ankle injury. Gastrocnemius, Soleus, Peroneus longus, brevis and Tertius as well as the tibialis anterior and posterior.

By re-activating these muscles through MAT Techniques within 30 minutes the swelling and pain reduced dramatically and the client walked out on his own.

Once the swelling and pain has been reduced and the injured area is pain free. You must include exercises that bring back the stability and propriception.

Until normal range of motion is restored in all joint of the foot normal proprioception could not occur. These special receptors provide information about our position in space.

When you lose proprioception people often complain of an unstable sensation of the joint. Proprioception training reteaches your body to control the position of an injured joint. Deciding when and how to progress is a matter of careful judgment and must be evaluated solely on an individual basis.

Progression should be considered advancement from ones current ability taking the goal into account realizing mastery of the assigned task is based purely under the dictatorship of control, which is the true measure of performance.

Below are sample exercises for muscles that support the ankle: In there proper progression. Rehabilitation treatment should start around the third day following the injury and generally lasts up to two weeks. The goal during this period is to have the patient walking without a limp.

Phase 1

Resisted dorsiflexion:
Resisted inversion:
Resisted eversion:
Standing calf raise
When you can perform 3 sets of 15 repetitions of the exercises above without any pain. You should progress to the next level.

Phase 2 Advanced Rehabilitation

1 Leg standing 10-20 sec
1 Leg stands with eyes closed
2 Leg Balance board
Rehabilitation for athletic activity

Phase 3

Lateral step ups
1-Leg Balance on Wobble Board
1-Leg Balance with med ball crossover
Ankle Bounces
Zigzag running


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