Osteopathic treatment for Ankle Pain

The ankle is a very complex joint made up of bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons which are all important in activities involving standing, walking and running.

So, having strong ankles helps to prevent injury and can speed up recovery from ankle problems such as sprains, strains, and fractures, which can result in symptoms such as:

Ankle swelling    Numbness or tingling    Instability    Stiffness

In my experience recurring ankle problems are due to returning to normal activity too soon or poor rehabilitation exercises.

Ankle Sprains

One of the most common ankle injuries is a sprain which happens when we roll, twist, or turn our ankle usually during a slip or fall. This can stretch or tear the ligaments and tendons that hold our ankle bones together causing pain and swelling around the ankle joint.

The Three Grades 

There are three grades of ankle sprain and this is determined by the amount of force that caused the injury. There are:

Grade 1: Stretching or slight tearing of the ligaments with mild tenderness, swelling, and stiffness. The ankle feels stable and it’s usually possible to walk with low pain.

Grade 2: A more severe sprain, but incomplete tears with moderate pain, swelling and bruising. Although it feels relatively stable, the damaged areas will be tender to touch, and walking is painful.

Grade 3: This is a complete tear of the affected ligament(s) with severe swelling and bruising. The ankle is unstable and walking is not likely because the ankle gives way and there is intense pain.

What to do… 

To reduce the risk of regular ankle sprains, it is important to follow a plan which includes balance and ankle postural control exercises as this helps to promote ligament and tendon healing, joint stabilisation, and ankle position sense (proprioception).

How we can help

As osteopaths we are trained to diagnose and treat all the mechanical causes of foot and ankle problems whether they are due to short term sporting injuries, or longer term problems that can occur following a fracture or serious ankle sprain.

We can provide simple rehabilitation exercises to help restore full function to your ankle and we work with local physiotherapists and podiatrists who are happy to provide additional support if required.

For advice on your ankle pain, or to book an appointment please call us on (01604) 532853

I climbed a mountain and survived! I have experienced a lot more strength in my ankles as well as flexibility, resulting in less “stumbles” on my ankles. My treatment has meant that I am more comfortable and confident with long walks and I have set myself new goals that I wouldn’t have set myself before.

Kath Braunston