Ankle sprains are the most common injuries in a variety of sports and very identifiable when they occur. You roll your ankle, feel a click or pop, followed by pain and swelling.
The common treatment protocol for an acute sprain is the PRICE (protect, rest, ice, compress and elevate) protocol.
This addresses the acute inflammatory processes that occur in this type of injury, but what happens after?
Injuries to the ankle joint can cause a great deal of instability and loss of position sense. The greater the injury to the ligamentous structures surrounding the ankle, the greater the loss of joint position sense.
This is known as deafferatation, where signals from ankle muscles and tendons to the brain and vise versa, are disrupted due to damaged receptors in those structures. Deafferentiation may be permanent and may result in impaired reflex stabilization of leg muscles during sudden passive displacement of the ankle.
To prevent chronic ankle instability after a sprain, a proper evaluation and treatment plan are necessary.
Muscles therapy, balance and strengthening exercises are necessary to prevent instability. After an ankle injury you should PRICE and seek a proper evaluation and treatment.