تاريخ التحديث: ١٥ يناير ٢٠٢٢
Sprained ankles are one of the most common injuries of the foot and leg. Simple things like: • Awkwardly stepping while running or walking, or • Stepping up or down a step or gutter • Walking on uneven ground or stepping in a pothole • Or falling or excessively twisting your foot in sports like football, netball, basketball, and soccer are common ways people sprain their ankle.
When we sprain or roll our ankle the ligaments in our ankles can become overstretched and injured. Often you will experience immediate pain and then swelling around the ankle area, it can be difficult to stand and walk and this usually indicates you’ve sustained some sort of ligament or muscle damage. If it’s really sore x-rays are often ordered to rule out broken bones.
Most people with use the RICE principle to treat their ankle sprain. ‘RICE’ is an acronym that stands for: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation and within a week or so they are starting to walk again and within 4-6 weeks they are usually back to full activity again.
“Ever since I had that sprained ankle, my foot has never been quite the same”
Unfortunately for some people they do all the right things, the injured tissue has healed but their ankle and foot just doesn’t feel right. Maybe your patient only twinged his ankle, there was no significant pain or injury at the time and he could walk normally pretty much straight away. But 3, 6, or 12 months later he realise his ankle just hasn’t been the same ever since.
If you can relate to any of this then its important to find out “why” because in my experience if the ankle doesn’t feel like its functioning normally within 3 months of the injury then it usually won’t just get better on it’s own.
What we’ve noticed is that there are 3 main reasons why people are experiencing ongoing pain and discomfort months after they sprained their ankle:
• The foot is incredibly complex and sometimes the twisting and rolling action of the initial injury causes displacement and mechanical changes in the bones and joints in the foot leading to compensation and ongoing issues. There are 26 bones and 43 joints in each foot so there is a lot of potential for something to go wrong with an ankle sprain!
• The incredibly important forward and back (anterior and posterior) gliding motion of the ankle joint is lost. For the ankle to be able to move through its full range of up and down (plantarflexion and dorsiflexion) range of motion it must be able to slide back and forth slightly in the ankle joint. This accessory movement is often restricted or lost after an ankle sprain.
• Ankle spring can disrupt the neurological pathway connecting foot to brain. Normally, we don’t need to think about being able to walk; our brain automatically knows the position of our feet, and how to move them. However, an ankle sprain can interrupt these messages between the brain and foot.
As a result, the ankle can still hurt and just not feel right months after the original sprain.
Every single day as a Podiatrist I see people who are desperate to find a solution for their ongoing ankle pain. They want to get back their confidence, be able to walk and exercise freely and wear their heels again and they just can’t seem to find an answer.
So What Do You Do If Your patient Ankle Still Hurts After 3 Months?
Fortunately, there is a treatment option: Foot Mobilisation Therapy (FMT). Foot mobilisation therapy is a manual therapy treatment specifically developed to improve your patient foot and ankle function by targeting stiff, mal-aligned or dysfunctional joints to improve the function of lower limb. These techniques focus on improving and restoring the normal range of pain-free joint motion.
The old saying goes ‘Everything works best when it’s in the right place’. When feet are correctly aligned and functioning as nature intended the incredible power of body restoration system can work its magic. This allows the ankle to naturally heal
Here are some of the benefits of Foot Mobilisation Therapy (FMT) treatment:
• Gentle release of connective tissue restrictions. Foot Mobilisation Therapy (FMT) helps break up adhesions that prevent joint mobility operating at its best.
• Improvement in the quality of movement in joints as they become more mobile. By stimulating the production of synovial fluid, joints are effectively getting a grease and oil change with every treatment.
• Better Balance As the base of support becomes more stable this promotes the body’s balancing system (proprioception) improving your balance and coordination.
• Muscles surrounding the joints becoming stronger. Foot Mobilisation Therapy (FMT) revitalises the nerve messages from the brain to the muscles involved and when combined with prescribed foot exercises build muscle strength.
• Pain messages are reduced. This is achieved by stimulating the mechanoreceptors of the joint and preventing the Type IV nociceptor impulses.
So, if your patient is suffering with a sore ankle several months after a sprain, Foot Mobilisation and Manipulation techniques is the best powerful way to address structural and mechanical problems of the feet and legs.
If you are interested to learn Foot Mobilisation and Manipulation techniques watch out for our next course.