Ankle injuries are extremely common. In the USA, almost two million severe ankle sprains happen each year. If not cared for correctly, ankle sprains may result in lack of mobility and onset of arthritis.
The ankle joint allows for a lot of motion. This enables us to run, jump and support the whole weight of our body and more. However, the ankles are designed in a way that makes them vulnerable to excessive twisting and pressure. That is due to one of the weakest ligaments of the ankle begin located on the outside aspect of the foot. The most type of sprained ankles is called an inversion sprain, where the foot rolls inward and tears the weaker ligaments on the outside of the ankle and foot. Once injured, the likelihood of that same injury occurring over again is greatly increased. This is because not only are the ligaments injured, but also the muscles of the ankle are shut down after the trauma occurs and oftentimes, do not receive the proper stimulation to be reactivated.
Once the ligaments of the ankle are stabilized and we ensure that the bony structure is properly aligned, our major focus in rehabilitating the ankle is to re-establish the neurological connection of the muscles of the ankle to the brain. We first begin by evaluating the muscles of the lower leg to identify if any have been shut down due to the trauma they sustained. Whatever muscles have been identified can then be “turned on” again through the Muscle Activation Technique. After the muscles are reactivated, the neurological connection is restored and the muscles can then be strengthened through therapeutic exercises. When this whole process is complete, ankle stability is returned to normal and as long as you maintain it through exercise, you will be able to enjoy injury-free activity.
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