Health Blog

Sprains, Strains and Ankle Pain! What You Need to Know and When to See a Therapist.

Is Your Ankle in Agony? You Might Need a Physical Therapist

It’s an all-too-common scenario: You trip over a clod of turf or get knocked down in a game, only to find that your ankle no longer bears your weight when you try to stand up again. Ankle sprains and strains affect joggers, sprinters, football players, and almost any other type of athletes you can name. But ankle pain can also occur due to other, more slow-growing causes — and these problems can prove just as debilitating when mobility is an important part of your performance. This blog will help you get to gain a better understanding of ankle conditions and why you should contact our physical therapist today for advice and assistance.

Strains, Sprains, and Other Causes of Ankle Pain

The structure we call the ankle is a surprisingly complex assembly of bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, muscles, and nerves. It doesn’t simply tilt upward and downward, like a hinge; it’s also capable of turning inward and outward to some degree. Whenever any condition or trauma impairs this structure’s ability to support and articulate the ankle, ankle pain is likely to plague you as an unfortunate side effect.

Two of the most common acute ankle injuries are strains and sprains. A strain occurs when a muscle or tendon is stretched or torn. A sprain is the same kind of damage, occurring in a ligament. Either injury can cause intense pain and swelling and reduced range of motion. Strains may also cause muscle spasms, while sprains are more likely to produce visible bruising. (If you heard an audible popping or clicking noise when you hurt your ankle, you’re looking at a sprain.)

But sprains and strains aren’t only ankle afflictions that can hobble an athlete. An ankle fracture can be even more debilitating than either of these injuries, requiring extensive immobilization in a cast or walking boot. Chronic ankle pain may be caused by arthritis, gout (a form of arthritis that often affects the foot), tarsal tunnel syndrome (a form of nerve impingement caused by surrounding tissue inflammation), and bursitis (inflammation of the cushioning structures in the ankle joint).

How Physical Therapy Can Get Your Ankle Back in Order

An acute ankle injury requires the immediate attention of your family doctor or an emergency room. X-rays can usually determine whether you have a fracture. If you have a strain or sprain, you’ll need to apply first aid in the form of a protocol known as R.I.C.E — rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Anti-inflammatory medications can also help you reduce some of the pain and swelling. Other forms of treatment such as chiropractic adjustment or physical therapy will have to wait until the initial trauma has subsided.

If you’re suffering from a milder injury or chronic ankle condition, you may be able to proceed with physical therapy right away. Depending on your condition, goals, and symptoms, our physical therapist may prescribe non-weight-bearing physical therapy exercises such as:

  • Plantar flexion.
  • Inversion/eversion (pointing the feet toward the left or right).
  • “Drawing” the letters of the alphabet with your toes.
  • Gentle isometric exercises to build ankle muscle strength.
  • Resistance training with a TheraBand looped around the foot.

Our physical therapy team may supplement these exercises with soothing physical therapy techniques such as massage therapy, heat, ice, or ultrasound therapy.

Contact Our Physical Therapist for Ankle Advice and Therapy

Concerned about rehabilitating your ankle safely and effectively? Contact our physical therapy team for a consultation, evaluation, and any necessary physical therapy!

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Our Reviews
Tim Nash
Tim Nash
15:32 27 Aug 18
My first experience with OBTS was very positive. During the course of my 13 therapy sessions I worked with many different therapists and all of them were professional and competent. They were able to help me effectively control my pain without medication using their therapy program. Unfortunately, they could not get my physical condition back to the same ability as before. However, this is due to the fact that it was later determined by my doctors that I required surgery. I plan on returning to OBTS for my post-op physical therapy and have already scheduled my evaluation appointment. Scheduling seems to be a challenge sometimes but that's probably an indication of their patient's satisfaction and good reviews. Thank you OBTS!
Arlene Gross
Arlene Gross
15:58 22 Jun 18
Everyone that worked with me was helpful. I enjoyed watching the staff interact as they worked as they laughed and smiled making me feel that it was fun to exercise. My knee pain is less and I look forward to having the same results with my back.
Jose Ico
Jose Ico
12:43 27 Apr 18
My wife and I have been coming here for a year. They have wonderful customer service and the treatments were great. I could say that since coming here for treatments, I am now able to walk properly and sleep well at nights. They help you in the best way possible. The people here are great and we definitely recommend it to everyone!
Paul Grant
Paul Grant
21:51 03 Apr 18
I have read lots of reviews that say "the entire staff of ..." is great, and you know that it is BS.. .. Butt at OBTS that statement is true. The person answering the phone, appointment setting they work around my schedule. It is truly a team concept. Everyone that has work with/on me keeps me focus on getting healthy to play golf.... Even those employees that haven't work with/on me are upbeat, positive and encouraging both their patients and me..... follow up phone calls, positive, hand written notes of encouragement, reminding me to do my homework so I can play golf this year. Great Employees, Great Business!.
Diane Burns
Diane Burns
02:30 16 Mar 18
I’ve had an incredible experience here at OBTS. In just two and half weeks I’ve seen and felt remarkable results. My hip mobility has improved by 30%. I credit the excellent physical therapists and the deep tissue laser therapy for my gains. I’ve gone from walking with a limp and pain everyday to walking normally and know that I’ll be back to running in the future. Every single person is warm and friendly here. Great place!
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