Most of us have experienced ankle pain at some point in our life by rolling the ankle by simply walking or hiking or while even playing sports. Many times, pain comes without any injuries or reasons and you wonder how that is possible.
Simple Ankle sprains:
As physiotherapists, we come across many simple ankle sprains or strains which simply heal well without any further problems, and that could be healed by the initial phase of Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation, and later on by exercise to strengthen muscles around the ankle in conjunction with modalities like LASER Therapy and ultrasound. Electrical stimulation can also be helpful to reduce swelling.
Non-Healing Ankle Sprain/Strains:
Ankle sprain which doesn’t heal properly can lead to the issue of sensory receptors (small organs located in the skin, tendon, muscles, and fascia) that transfer information to the brain. If the tendon or muscles continue to send wrong or non-meaningful information to the brain the chances of losing balance and re-injuries are very high. Fortunately, those kinds of cases can be treated by sensory re-education and decreasing receptor sensitivity with specialised techniques like P-DTR or Mckenzie Approach can be very useful if it is implemented by the certified therapist.
Ankle Derangement Mimicking Ligament Sprains:
There are some cases where actually pain or injury looks like ligament injury but it is just an ankle derangement that can lead to pain. Therapists who are specifically trained in repetitive movements examination can easily diagnose this kind of problems and help to give instant relief from pain and dysfunction. Many times, one or two sessions of proper education, mobilization and exercises are enough to help clients to achieve full recovery.
Ankle Pain Caused by Lower back Issues:
Third most common cause of the ankle pain or mimicking ankle pain is coming from spinal origins. Many times, compression on spinal nerves due to stenosis or disc injuries can lead to radiating pain in the ankle from the compression on Lumbar nerve root number 4,5 or Sacral 1 nerve root. It can be on one side or both sides of the ankle. Again, a complete spinal exam is always essential for any ankle pain, so we don’t miss any of the other diagnoses.