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9

Managing ankle injuries

  • The NHS manages 1.5 million ankle related injuries every year
  • Over half of all ankle related injuries occur as a result of an athletic activity
  • Men between 15 and 24 years old have higher rates of ankle sprains, compared to women older than age 30 who have higher rates than men

Form Fit Ankle BraceThe ankle is a complex joint which is responsible for carrying the weight of the body whilst undertaking a huge range of movements and is therefore susceptible to injury. Ankle injuries can be rather painful and hugely frustrating in that your mobility can be severely compromised, with treatment varying depending on the nature and severity of the condition.

RICE

Following an injury it is important to adopt the RICE principles in order to minimise the risk of further damage being caused and increase your chances of a speedy recovery.

Rest allows your body to manage the injury and repair the damage and if you are off your feet then you are less likely to injury yourself further.

Ice can be used to help manage inflammation of the affected region whilst also offering some pain relief from the soothing effects of the cold.

Compression works to manage the inflammation experienced following an injury and can be achieved via the use of an ankle support.

Elevation of the affected area above the level of the heart reduces the blood flow and thereby helps to manage inflammation.

Physiotherapy

Following an ankle injury there may be instability in the joint which can compromise your mobility and increase the risk of you rolling your ankle and causing further damage. Physiotherapy can work to strengthen the ligaments within the joint, offering exercises and even the use of an ankle support to help get you mobile once again.

A physiotherapist will be able to work with you on establishing a diagnosis and the most effective treatment programme for your needs. A sprained ankle can affect everyone differently and therefore your treatment may need to be tailored.

Surgery

Surgery is only seen as a last resort following an ankle injury and is reserved for more serious ligament damage and broken bones. Where there is a tear or rupture to the ligaments within a joint then surgery may be undertaken to repair the damage, though following surgery of this nature a combination of an orthosis and physiotherapy may be used as part of your treatment programme.

If you suspect you have suffered a serious ankle injury then you should go to hospital or speak with a clinician.

Bracing

There are a number of different ankle support products on the market depending on the nature of the condition you wish to manage, which is another reason why diagnosis is essential in selecting the right product for you.

Following a mild sprain then you may simply opt for a compressive ankle support to help manage inflammation. Damage to the ligaments may require a strapped brace for additional support and help protect the ankle from rolling whilst a rigid support minimises sideways movement of the joint and therefore keeps the ankle stable.