ANKLE SPRAINS – more important than you think!

Even mild ankle sprains or rolling of the ankle can have a big effect on the entire lower extremity. The talus (a bone that sits between the tibia and fibula forming the ankle joint), along with other bones, allows the foot to turn inwards or outwards and flex. These are important motions required for walking and running, especially over uneven surfaces.

The most common form of ankle sprain is an inversion sprain. This means that the foot tends to turn in. This affects the joints of the ankle – causing a bone the talus to roll outwards and sideways (it ends up sitting forwards on the calcaneus preventing proper drainage of the foot). Whilst the fibula (bone on the outside of the lower leg) moves slightly backwards at the knee changing the pull through the lower calf and hamstring muscles.

This may lead to altered motion of the hip joint and one may also end up with lower back pain as the pelvis rotates to balance out the change in motion/biomechanics Drainage of the ankle may also be compromised leading to longer recovery time.

It is therefore important to get the talus (and ankle joint) treated whenever we roll an ankle. This is particularly vital in runners where prolonged joint restriction can lead to overuse and stress injuries – remember you carry your entire body weight through one leg at a time (as the foot lands on the ground) so you want the ankle to move as well as possible allowing forces to be distributed correctly throughout all the joints involved in that motion.

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Categories: Sarah Os