Ankle Pain

An ankle sprain is usually a sudden injury or specific event that you will remember. Often people say they have rolled their ankle. There will be swelling, bruising and pain. Sports activities will make it worse, as will standing and walking.

We know that the ankle joint is a complex group of ligaments, tendons and muscles. These all need to work in the correct biomechanical pattern or you can develop further pain as a result of your ankle sprain.

The ankle also requires a strong stable base to function. This base is usually provided by your calves, knees and lower back. Pain, inflammation and wear and tear will develop if you keep using your ankle joint while it is injured. This in turn causes you to develop poor movement patterns. You will develop altered walking and running styles. This in turn creates a “muscle imbalance,” reinforcing your poor gait causing further pain and inflammation, often in your Achilles tendon, and calves. An ankle instability can also develop which causes recurrent sprains.

This poor walking/ running style (gait) or poor biomechanics will become a habit and you will be consistently in pain. If you keep this “bad habit” you will continue to aggravate and irritate your ankle and your pain and swelling will persist and will potentially get worse. You can develop poor balance and have decreased strength with your ankle. This can create a long-term problem for you.

Treatment of your ankle sprain will make you feel better. However, if you have the pain treated (massage, mobilization, taping, acupuncture), but do not correct your gait, your biomechanics and strength deficits, you are only receiving a “temporary relief” from your pain, and it is likely that your pain will reoccur. This is only short-term relief, and not a long-term solution.

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