Ankle Pain and Physiotherapy

Debra Treloar, BSR, FCAMPT, Physiotherapist, discusses Ankle Pain and Physiotherapy

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Debra Treloar, BSR, FCAMPT, Physiotherapist, discusses Ankle Pain and Physiotherapy
Video transcript

Duration: 2 minutes, 33 seconds
Ankle Pain and Physiotherapy
Ankle sprains are very common.

We see them in a lot of sports, such as volleyball, basketball, soccer, tennis, many of the racquet sports and field sports. You can also get an ankle sprain in an activity of daily living.

Because they’re so common, though, people underplay the significance of an ankle sprain. So if you get an ankle sprain and you go to the hospital, and they will often tell you to, they’ll X-ray, say you don’t have a fracture. They’ll tell you to use RICE.

The RICE, which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. But you may not have a really good idea as to whether you should be weight bearing or non weight bearing and what sort of rehab should you do or when should you do it.

Once you’ve determined that you don’t have a fracture, you should seek treatment very, very soon from a physiotherapist. The physio will assess you to determine what ligaments that you’ve torn and what grade of tear that you have.

This is really important because there’s three grades of tear. Grade one, which you just have a bit of pain with. A grade two, which is that, that long continuum of you have a few fibers torn and most of them are intact.

Or you may have a number of fibers, 90 percent of your fibers torn and only 10 percent intact. So that’s a really big continuum of how much instability you might have in your ankle. And you can have a grade three sprain, where it’s completely torn.

This is really important to determine because it’ll give us an idea of how we should treat you and what we should do. And it’s very specific, and it isn’t good enough to just go along and say, “This is what you do for all ankle sprains.” We need to be specific, we need to assess you, and we need to help you with your ankle sprain.

So we would usually start off with exercises that will look at range of motion and strengthening your ankle. But we may do some trunk exercises as well. Because while you can’t weight bear, we can still keep you strong through your trunk.

As you’re able to weight bear a bit more, we’ll include weight-bearing exercises, do a lot of balance and proprioceptive exercising. And then progress you to plyometric, more jumping, quick movement types of things.

From there we’d be looking at sport-specific exercise if you have a sport you’re returning to, or if you’re returning to an activity of daily living or work, we’ll try to set up a situation where you’re going to exercise appropriately for that activity.

If you sustain an ankle injury and you’re unable to weight bear immediately afterwards, you need to seek a physician’s help or go to an emergency department to have an X-ray taken.

If you’re able to weight bear, seek help from a physiotherapist. The physio will then likely send you to a sports medicine specialist or to a sports medicine shop to look at braces and other supports you may need if you have any instability in your ankle.

Presenter: Debra Treloar, Physiotherapist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Physiotherapist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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