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.
Society has trained us that when we get an injury, or have an ache or pain, we should always choose either heat or ice to try and relieve the discomfort. One of the most common questions that physical therapists get is whether someone should use heat or ice to relieve back pain. The issue with both modalities is that they are passive, and one study found the depth of therapeutic levels of tissue temperature change is one cm. Most tissues that individuals are looking to target with their heat or ice are much deeper, so you are not effectively applying the modality to the depth you want. So, what is the best thing that we can do for our low back pain? Movement!
Have you considered the link between your sleep and pain you may be experiencing? Recent research suggests that sleep and chronic pain are more closely linked than you might think. Not only does sleep deprivation affect your energy, concentration, and general health, it also can predict and even worsen your pain.
The majority of individuals have experienced some form of physical pain or injury over the course their lives. Some adopt the “no pain, no gain” mentality while others seek medical attention right away. Is it ok to “work through the pain”? What about taking a “wait and see” approach prior to seeking medical care? How long is too long to wait prior to receiving medical care for pain?
We are all too familiar with pain; it is truly one of the unfavorable guarantees that we have in life. Whether it be emotional or physical pain, we learn at a young age that pain is a reality that we all must face. In fact, there is a direct link between our physical pain and emotional wellness. Often times, emotional stressors are manifested in our physical ailments. Just as often, we find ourselves with physical impairments that can trigger certain emotional responses affecting our moods and perspectives.
As a physical therapist, I frequently work with people who suffer from chronic pain. When the weather changes – including colder temperatures or air pressure changes – I frequently have patients asking why the weather seems to influence their pain symptoms.
According to the International Association for the Study of Pain, pain is “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage.” This means that pain is an experience that encompasses so much more than the physical aspect typically associated with it.1
Pain can affect how we sleep, work, focus and manage our relationships on a daily basis. It affects our stress levels and impacts how we manage anxiety. Whether we are aware of it or not, pain changes how our brain processes information and thus, can affect every aspect of our life.
Approximately 30 percent of adults over 18 are experiencing chronic pain with a slightly higher prevalence (34 percent) among females.1 Pain can significantly influence an individual’s recovery and functional ability.