Physical Therapist Dr. Sarah Whiteside explains why an ankle sprain should not be ignored and should be treated by a medical professional.
Have you ever suffered from an ankle sprain? A healed ankle sprain could need further rehabilitation, even if it no longer impairs daily function. Without proper healing of the ankle, you can put yourself at risk for an overuse injury of the foot. Worse, ankle sprains can lead to knee, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), or meniscus tears.
This article reminded me how frequently I evaluate patients with low back pain or lower extremity injuries. Especially those who have had prior or concurrent ankle sprains.
Here are the 5 signs you haven’t fully recovered from an ankle sprain:
- Limited ankle dorsiflexion range of motion
- Unable to hop on 1 leg without pain
- Difficulty balancing on one leg
- Pain with running
- Your just not confident in your ankle – with stairs, running and cutting
About the Proprioceptive Sensors in Your Ankle
There are multiple sensory nerve endings inside each of our joints. Many of these sensors are called “proprioceptive sensors.”
Proprioceptive sensors give our brains moment-to-moment feedback on joint angles, and inform us where our body is positioned with movement.
The ankle is a complex joint with multiple planes of movement and there are hundreds of these sensors that keep us balanced.
After an injury, these sensors are inhibited and proprioception is usually lost. These sensors won’t fully recover unless it’s purposefully trained and challenged. At Physio Logic, our physical therapists can help re-train motor control for safe function, running, jumping, and sport-specific training.
When Should I See a Physical Therapist for an Ankle Sprain?
Did you know you can see a physical therapist for an evaluation before seeing medical doctor? In New York State patients are eligible for “Direct Access” to Physical Therapy. This means you can come in for physical therapy treatment up to four weeks.
After that, by law, patients will need a script from a medical doctor. Direct Access gives you the advantage of getting a head start on physical rehabilitation before a condition becomes chronic.
Our physical therapists will be able to make a diagnosis on the first visit. From there, our team can assess whether to refer you to medical doctor immediately or after four weeks.
This is great news because you can get your injury treated right away, instead of waiting to get into a busy doctor’s office.
If you or a family member has suffered an ankle injury, schedule your appointment and get evaluated right away!