Sprained Ankles – Chiropractors in Southampton at The Avenue Clinic Give you the Best Up To Date Advice To Help You Recover.


ankle pic

This common but often painful injury can have unforeseen effects. In a study that involved a 10-year follow-up of patients suffering ankle sprains, 72 percent showed signs of arthritis in the ankle joint.


Given the serious long-term consequences associated with ankle sprains, it is important to identify which of you are prone to injury.


Many factors correlate with the development of ankle sprains (such as high arches, impaired balance, tight calves, and decreased cardiovascular fitness), but by far, the best predictors of future ankle sprain are prior ankle sprain and being overweight. In fact, overweight athletes with a prior history of ankle sprain are 19 times more likely to suffer another ankle sprain. Force centered on the ankle can exceed seven times body weight, so you can imagine that running or walking when you are carrying just a few extra pounds will greatly increase your potential for ankle sprain.

If you have had a  previous ankle sprain, you are more likely to have impaired coordination and calf muscle tightness that can increase your potential for reinjury.  After a previous sprain, you often don’t clear the ground as you should when you swing your leg forwards on walking – and your foot tilts inwards excessively too often when your foot hits the ground as you stride forwards.

Despite the strong connection between prior sprain and future sprain, the opposite effect is seen when we look at the severity of ligament damage and the potential for reinjury. In a two-year follow-up of 202 elite runners presenting with ankle sprains, researchers determined that patients with the worst ligament tears rarely suffered reinjury, while individuals with less severe ankle sprains suffered significantly higher rates of re-sprain. So if you are going to sprain your ankle you are better to do it badly if you want to avoid doing it again!!

Those with completely torn ankle ligaments treated with surgery to reconstruct the ligaments  had worse short and long-term outcomes than individuals who refused surgical intervention, which emphasizes the importance of obtaining manual treatment such as chiropractic or physiotherapy for even the most minor ankle sprain. It also makes it clear that runners with severe ankle ligament injuries should avoid surgery.

Regardless of the degree of ligament damage, the goal of treating an ankle sprain is to restore strength, flexibility, proprioception, and endurance as quickly as possible during the first few days following injury. Adding an elastic bandage has been proven to reduce the length of time to full recovery by 50 percent.


rice1Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate are good ideas immediately after the sprain. However, don’t use this treatment for long … you need manual treatment quickly after the injury to promote good healing and there are lots of exercises that can be performed once symptoms of the acute sprain are reduced.

Come and see us at the Avenue Clinic and we will help you with manual treatment of the ankle and a set of exercises that will help you to achieve the best recovery you can.

Besides the standard exercise routines, it is also important that problems with balance be addressed. The simple addition of an inexpensive foam balance pad can significantly lessen the risk of injury. In one study, there was a 77 percent decrease in the rate of reinjury when overweight athletes with a prior history of ankle sprain performed balance training on a foam stability pad for five minutes on each leg for four weeks. Another study from the Netherlands found that individuals treated with balance-board exercises reduced their subsequent reinjury rates by 47 percent.