Physical therapy (PT) is a great treatment to address aches and pains of varying kinds. It can be utilized for general discomfort or pain associated with surgery. PT is designed to help reduce pain and improve range of motion, strength, and overall function. Whether it’s your knee that has been hurting for decades or your back you tweaked shoveling snow, often, physical therapy can help. Let’s look at injuries physical therapy can treat and who exactly should start physical therapy.
Ankle pain is a common reason many people see their physical therapist. It is often after a bad sprain or for a strained muscle. It can also occur following a more severe injury like a fracture or after surgery like an Achilles repair. These reasons for coming to physical therapy are fairly obvious. The injury typically happens suddenly, with a lot of swelling and pain.
Everyone knows exercise is a key component to staying healthy. With nicer weather comes more outdoor activities, including running. Running produces a ground reaction force of 2.5 times the runner’s body weight, while walking produces only 1.2 times the runner’s body weight1. With the increased demand from ground reaction forces and the foot being the first to come in contact with the ground, ankle pain can be common in runners. So, what can we do to prevent injury, specifically to the ankle, with the increased demand required during running? Here are five exercises to improve and prevent ankle pain, specifically when running.
Ankle sprains are an extremely common lower extremity injury in both athletic and general populations. Ankle sprains account for up to 40% of lower extremity sports injuries1 and are one of the most common injuries to be seen in the emergency room2. Most ankle sprains occur when the ankle “rolls” inward, resulting in pain, swelling, loss of motion, and bruising around the ankle.
Have you ever been walking, looking at the world around you, followed by a quick moment when you feel your foot catch the edge of the sidewalk and roll your ankle? It’s a pretty common injury and has the potential to cause some pain and swelling with varying degrees of injury. An inversion ankle sprain is the most common way to roll your ankle. This type of sprain involves inward movement of your foot, resulting in a sprain to the ligaments on the outside portion of your ankle.
We’ve all tweaked our ankles at some point in our lives. Some of us have even done it so forcefully that we have sprained a ligament, broken a bone, or strained a muscle. Hopefully, you took appropriate care and are feeling better, but often in my practice, I hear the dreaded phrase, “oh yeah, that’s my bad ankle. It never got better after I did (insert something youthful and nostalgic here).”
There are two forms of untreated ankle issues I see in the clinic regularly. The painful ankle that is effectively avoided or the stiff ankle that the patient thinks is normal. Both can have long-term effects on ankle health and wear and tear on the knees, hips, and even low backs.
Ankle sprains are one of the most common orthopedic injuries. Common ways to end up with a painful, swollen ankle include:
- A misstep off a curb or stair
- A poor landing from a jump in an athletic activity
- A stumble while wearing high heels
- A slip on a patch of ice
In any sport or activity that puts demands on the body, injuries can occur, and dance is no different. Some of the most common injuries seen in physical therapy clinics in regards to dancers, are injuries related to the foot and ankle. The following information serves to help educate dancers on some of the more common ankle injuries, along with techniques that could be applied to help minimize the risk of these injuries. It is important to note that only a licensed medical professional can diagnose an ankle injury.