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Ankle Pain/Injury

Ankle Pain / Injury

Ankle sprain

A lateral ankle sprain occurs when the ligaments outside the ankle are stretched or torn due to the inward rolling of your foot. Symptoms include pain, swelling, bruising, difficulty bearing weight, or a feeling of instability.

 

While RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) is traditional for initial days post-injury, recent research favours MEAT (Movement, Exercise, Analgesia, Therapy). Early gentle movement flushes waste promotes blood flow, and aids ligament growth. Graded exercise, initiated after pain subsides, restores mobility and strength to prevent re-injury.

 

In-clinic therapies like joint mobilization and soft tissue release expedite recovery. Depending on the sprain severity, a protective ankle brace, taping or crutches may be necessary. Mild sprains allow a quick return, while severe injuries may take six weeks or longer to recover.

 

Achilles tendinopathy

The Achilles tendon, connecting calf muscles to the heel, is the body's largest and strongest tendon but is susceptible to injury due to high demands. Causes include excessive stretching, forceful calf muscle contraction, and repeated overload leading to micro-tears. Athletes, particularly runners, face an increased risk. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, and swelling worsening with activity, often resulting in firm swelling.

 

Initially, limiting or stopping painful activities is advised, with runners temporarily switching to swimming or cycling. A gradual introduction of new activities, avoiding a weekly activity increase of over 10%, and returning to running on smooth, shock-absorbent surfaces at low intensity are recommended. Avoiding hard or unlevel surfaces, proper warm-up, and avoiding over-training are crucial.

 

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a painful irritation of the fibrous band from the heel to the ball of the foot, often caused by overstretching due to fallen arches, compounded by sports or excessive weight.

 

Symptoms include heel or arch pain, especially in the morning. Left untreated, it can last months, but proper treatment can expedite recovery.

 

Consistently wearing shoes with good arch support, avoiding high heels or going barefoot, and using a splint or Strassburg sock at night for a stretched position aid healing. Runners may need to reduce mileage or switch to less stressful activities temporarily.

 

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome


Tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs when the tibial nerve is irritated behind the ankle's inside bump, often due to compression or chronic stretch from fallen arches.

 

Symptoms include pain, burning, numbness, or tingling in the heel and arch, more noticeable with standing, exercise, and at night. Plantar fasciitis commonly accompanies it.

 

Treatment aims to facilitate a pain-free return to activity and correct the underlying mechanical issue. Wearing shoes with good arch support, avoiding high heels or going barefoot, and performing prescribed home exercises are crucial for recovery.

Remedial Massage targets the muscles and soft tissues surrounding the ankle, aiding in the reduction of tension, inflammation, and improving circulation to the affected area. By addressing muscular imbalances and promoting relaxation, massage therapy can alleviate pain and enhance flexibility in the ankle joint.

 

Assisted Stretching therapy focuses on increasing the range of motion in the ankle, promoting better mobility and reducing strain on the surrounding muscles and ligaments.

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