Live Life Again Pain-Free

Balance and Strengthening for Ankle Sprains

The ankle is the most common site of sprains in the human body. An ankle sprain can happen to anybody at a time when you least expect it. Normally, it occurs after a sudden unnatural twisting of the foot which can tear the ligaments of the ankle. An ankle injury affects every aspect of your daily life, most notably your ability to walk and drive.
The symptoms and sign of ankle sprains may vary depending on the severity. There might be tenderness, bruising, swelling and stiffness. Walking can be painful if the ankle sprain is serious.

A mild ankle sprain may not require a doctor’s attention but if any of the following happen after you twisted your ankle, consult your doctor.
• Uncontrollable pain even after taking medications
• You are unable to walk or cannot walk without severe pain.
• The ankle is swollen beyond normal and is not improving within 5-7 days.

Ankle sprain can be prevented by:
• Wearing shoes that give the proper support for the ankle.
• Maintain the strength and flexibility of the ankles. Consult a physical therapist for strengthening exercises


Balance and Strengthening Exercises Reduce Chronic Ankle Sprains

Strength and balance exercises, which can be designed for you, can be effective at reducing the risk of ankle sprains and painassociated with the injury. Strength training utilizing the muscles that turn your foot in (these muscles are called the invertor muscles) and turn your foot out (these muscles are called the evertor muscles) may lower the incidence of ankle sprains..

Balance intervention training involves an assortment of strength training exercises. A physical therapist will teach you how to safely conduct these exercises so you eventually can perform them at home or your training facility.

Balance intervention training involves an assortment of strength training exercises. A physical therapist will teach you how to safely conduct these exercises so you eventually can perform them at home or your training facility. Try one of these sets:

  1. A single leg stance on the floor
  2. Single leg stance while the opposite leg swings.
  3. Single leg squats on the floor at a 30 to 45 degree angle.
  4. Single leg stance while performing a sports activity such as catching or dribbling.
  5. Try a double leg stance on a balance board and rotate in a clockwise and then counterclockwise direction.
  6. Conclude with another single leg stance.

It is still important to warm up the muscles before attempting these exercises.  Try a light jog or jogging in place, backward running, or running forward with knee lifts for 30 seconds.  Power and strength exercises such as squats may also provide the additional ankle support.

Again, these are all exercises that should be practiced and learned with your physical therapist to ensure safety and proper technique.


Physical Therapy and Your Training

Depending on your needs, you physical therapist may recommend balance training using a ‘balance board’, which is an excellent way to stabilize and strengthen the muscles in the foot.

Combined, all the things your physical therapist can teach you can result in a significant reduction in the risk of injury to the ankle. This is especially valuable for athletes, individuals in jobs that require standing all day and women who spend a lot of time in heels.

If you want to strengthen your ankle and minimize the possibility of an ankle injury, all you need is a simple balance training program from your physical therapist.

Call now to schedule an appointment. We’ll not only treat you for any ankle injuries, but we’ll teach you an exercise program to minimize the risk of ankle injuries going forward


The Discomfort of Hip Bursitis

Hip bursitis is a painful condition, especially if an individual has had a pre-existing hip injury. Athletes involved in repetitive movements like running or bicycling are likely to experience bursitis.

Occasionally, the pain of hip bursitis can be dull and achy. It may also spread to the lower back. The inside of the hip (towards the groin area) can also get affected.Bursitis is the swelling of the bursa, which is a small cushion-like sac containing fluid. It is a protective sac that surrounds joints. The hip bursa is located over the outside part of the hip bone (also known as the trochanter).

This protective sac is also present in other joints like the knee, shoulder, and heel. When the bursa becomes inflamed, the pain is usually sharp and intense.

Traditionally, a physician may decide to treat the pain and discomfort of bursitis with medication. Weight loss to minimize load on the joint and surrounding tissues may also be recommended. A physical therapist can play an important role in the design of a safe, effective exercise program to strengthen muscles and improve joint mobility without pain and discomfort.


Prevention with Physical Therapy

A vicious cycle of pain and inflammation can result in progressive joint stiffness and muscle weakness, as the body tries to limit the extent of pain associated with bursitis. When pain levels subside, a physical therapist can help the individual restore mobility and strength.

The first step with physical therapy is a detailed evaluation to determine the extent of motion, strength, flexibility and the status of tissues surrounding the joint. This may require advanced tests. After gathering the right information, the therapist can plan a safe, effective exercise program to help the individual

recover as soon as possible. It’s important to maintain full range of motion in the hip joint, and strengthen the surrounding muscles after a period of warm up and stretching. Certain postures may need to be avoided. All of this will be outlined and documented by the physical therapist, who will guide the patient throughout the recovery process.

The primary objective of physical therapy is to reduce pain by improving mobility and restoring muscle balance gradually. Supervised exercise is important in the early stages, followed by a progressive home exercise program consisting of hip strengthening exercises. The intensity of these exercises will be judged by the physical therapist.


Physical Therapy Can Kick Start Healing

If you or someone you know is suffering from hip pain, a physical therapist can diagnose the condition to determine whether bursitis is a likely cause.

Since the hip is a major weight bearing joint, it is important to treat hip bursitis as quickly as possible. Left untreated, the condition can become extremely painful and trigger low back pain and postural imbalances.

Your physical therapist program may suggest mobility exercises like bicycling and strengthening exercises like leg raises, — depending on your current condition. It is highly recommended that you consult your physical therapist before beginning any exercises if you have hip pain. This will minimize stress on inflamed tissues and help you avoid pain and further injury.

Stop the frustrating cycle of pain and inactivity. Call us today for an assessment. Don’t let hip pain get in the way of a healthy, active lifestyle.