Author Topic: Ankle Sprains: Are you recovering correctly?  (Read 893 times)

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Jeremy Wilhite, PT

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Ankle Sprains: Are you recovering correctly?
« on: April 07, 2016, 02:10:27 pm »
Happy Spring Everyone,
The weather is getting nicer and Spring sports are in full swing. I wanted to go over ankle sprains and the recovery process to ensure young athletes return to play quickly and with minimized risk of re-injury. Ankle sprains occur when an athlete's foot moves beyond the normal range of motion that is supported by the ligaments. Sprains can occur from rolling the ankle with a change of direction, landing on the foot incorrectly, or simply running in an unstable ankle. When the foot moves beyond the normal range, the ligaments can stretch or tear to varying degrees, which is the definition of a sprain. Normal treatment for ankle sprains early on are geared towards reducing inflammation with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). Once an athlete is past the acute phase of the recovery from an ankle sprain, certain things need to be addressed to ensure the athlete can return back to sport with minimized risk of re-injury and to limit further time spent sidelined. First is to ensure the athlete has full return of range of motion, especially into dorsiflexion of the ankle. Dorsiflexion is the motion when the ankle is bent with the toes going toward the head. Full dorsiflexion for an athlete is crucial in improving stability of the ankle with sports. Lack of motion in dorsiflexion can lead to instability and increase the risk for chronic ankle sprains and instability. Another important aspect of recovery is proprioception and stability, which is the athlete's ability to sense where there foot is in space (ie, while running, cutting, etc.), so that they are able to correct their foot position quickly and reduce the risk for re-injury. The return to full motion and improvement of proprioception can be achieved through graded stretches and balance/strengthening exercises. In closing, we often overlook ankle sprains as a significant injury because of the common occurrence throughout sporting activities, but steps can be taken to reduce re-injuries and chronic ankle instability ultimately leading to less time that an athlete is sidelined with an injury. I hope this is informative and useful for athletes, coaches, and parents. Feel free to ask questions in the reply section of this post.


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Regards,
Jeremy Wilhite, PT, OCS
Drayer Physical Therapy Institute- Broken Arrow

**This forum post is to serve as an educational resource to athletes, coaches, and their parents. It is not to be used for diagnostic or treatment purposes, nor in place of an examination by a physician or licensed physical therapist. Please consult a physician or licensed physical therapist if your athlete is injured or suspected of an injury.   

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FTBLFIELDS

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Re: Ankle Sprains: Are you recovering correctly?
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2016, 08:32:37 pm »
I have a 14yo that is a "big boy". He has been complaining of pain in his shins. Growing pains?  Anything we can do to help/alleviate his pain?
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Jeremy Wilhite, PT

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Re: Ankle Sprains: Are you recovering correctly?
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2016, 10:25:48 am »
Shin pain can occur for a variety of reasons. Most common is shin splints. Shin splints are an inflammation of the muscles of the lower leg where they attach to the tibia (shin bone). Inflammation occurs usually with overuse, prolonged running on hard surface, or starting a new running or impact exercise activity after a prolonged period of inactivity. Treatment for shin splints would include icing, resting (but not complete rest), and stretches. It may also be beneficial to have your son's feet and cleats/shoes assessed to ensure he is running with proper biomechanics, or if he would benefit from an orthotic shoe insert. There are a few other causes of shin pain including a stress fracture, muscle strain, or compartment syndrome(swelling in the compartments of lower leg, which would need to be addressed immediately). See your doctor immediately if you notice significant swelling of the lower leg or if your son's feet are going numb with activity. If your son's pain continues for 1-2 weeks or is getting worse and severe, I would have him follow up with a sports medicine doctor or an injury screen that we can perform here in clinic.

Regards,
Jeremy Wilhite, PT, OCS
Drayer Physical Therapy Broken Arrow
2560 E Kenosha ST
Broken Arrow, OK 74014