Ankle injuries

Overview

An ankle strain is the tearing, pulling or overstretching of one of the muscles or tendons in the ankle. Whereas on the other hand, an ankle sprain is the overstretching or complete or partial tear of a ligament in the ankle. Tendons are the tissue that connects muscle to bone whereas ligaments connects bone to bone, thus any damage to these can be quite debilitating on one’s everyday lifestyle.

Ankle injuries can affect anyone of walking ability but there is evidence to suggest that you are more likely to injure your ankle again if you have already previously injured it, with those with previous ankle injuries describing there to be a higher incidence of the ankle ‘giving way’, a decreased range of motion and some residual pain.

There are differing grades/types of ankle injury depending on the severity of the injury: grade 1 refers to a minor ankle strain where there is some stretching of the muscles and tendons and normally recovers after a few days; grade 2 injuries occur when there is a partial tear and usually requires a longer amount of time for recovery and rehabilitation; grade 3 injuries refer to a complete tear in the muscle or tendon and results in severe pain and instability, these injuries can be accompanied by a bone fracture in the ankle.

Symptoms

  • Spasms

  • Swelling

  • Limited flexibility

  • Pain around the affected area

  • Bruising

  • Inability to walk or bear weight

  • Muscle weakness

  • Tenderness

  • Cramping

Causes

Ankle strains are caused by simply rolling your ankle on uneven ground. Sporting activities, walking on unstable ground or in unstable footwear, trips and falls, awkwardly landing on your ankle and lifting heavy objects all can lead to an ankle injury. Strains can also occur when the muscle is overstretched or contracts excessively, which can occur when you kick a ball too forcefully. Other medical conditions such as arthritis or the misalignment of bones between your ankle and foot can all lead to ankle strains. Understanding the cause of your ankle strain can help with the recovery of the injury and prevent any possible further injuries.

Whilst anyone can get a strain in their ankle there are some factors that increase your chances of getting a strained ankle. Those who are overweight, don’t stretch before exercise,  wearing inappropriate footwear, or those who push themselves with fatigued muscles have a higher chance of straining their ankle. Moreover, there is evidence suggesting that women aged over 30 and men aged between 15-24 have a higher incidence of ankle strain compared to the general population.

Diagnosis

Normally radiographic imaging is required to determine the severity of the injury. Tests such as X-rays, MRIs or CT scans will show whether there is damage to any muscles, tendons, ligaments or bones and the degree of the damage. A physical examination of the ankle may also occur to note the amount of swelling and bruising that has occurred.

Chiropractic Care

The purpose of chiropractic care at Turramurra Chiropractic is help you to be able to do the thing that you love to do and to do them well. To do this it is first necessary to get a clear picture of the problem which is done by taking a thorough history and performing a comprehensive assessment. Understanding your history is critical to identifying the cause(s) and contributing factors that have led your health to where it is currently. The assessment includes a neurological, orthopaedic, motion, posture examinations amongst others. In some cases further investigation may be required. Once we have all the relevant information we will discuss your specific needs and develop a plan of action with you. There will be ample opportunity for you to discuss the proposed care and ask any questions before proceeding.

 

Do you or some one you know have an ankle injury? Give us a call on 9440 8003 to discuss.

 

References
Gillman, S. (2004). The Impact of Chiropractic Manipulative Therapy on Chronic Recurrent Lateral Ankle Sprain Syndrome in Two Young Athletes. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 3(4), pp.153-159.
Healthline. (2019). Sprain vs. Strain: What’s the Difference?. [online] Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/sprain-vs-strain
Pivotal Podiatry Clinic. (2019). Ankle Injuries – Pivotal Podiatry Clinic. [online] Available at: http://pivotalpodiatry.com.au/foot-problems/ankle-injuries/.
Sports-health. (2019). Ankle and Foot Injuries. [online] Available at: https://www.sports-health.com/sports-injuries/ankle-and-foot-injuries.