What to do following an ankle injury? How do you know if your balance has been affected?
Following an ankle or foot injury, proprioception can be negatively impacted and potentially increase the chance for future reoccurrence of injury or falls. Proprioception (or kinesthesia) is the sense though which our body is aware of where are our joints are in space. Common ankle and foot injuries that benefit from physiotherapy focused on strength and proprioception training include ankle sprains, plantar fasciitis, post ankle/foot fractures and tendonitis.
A study (Willems 2002) published by the Journal of Athletic Training looked at the effect of proprioception and muscle strengthening exercises in individuals with chronic instability and suggested that emphasizing on proprioception and strength training in the rehab program can help prevent recurrent ankle sprains.
The video below shows 2 examples of how to test your ankle balance. Make sure to try those with a stable surface close by for you to hold on to if you lose your balance. If you are unsure please do not try them.
Physiotherapist assess your range, balance, strength and your gait. Based on the assessment we provide you with a treatment plan including the appropriate exercises to help manage your symptoms and avoid re-occurrence of injury.
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Reference: Willems, T, Witvrouw E, Verstuyft J, Vaes P & Clercq DD, Proprioception and Muscle Strength in Subjects With a History of Ankle Sprains and Chronic Instability, Journal of Athletic Training (2002) Oct-Dec; 37(4): 487–493