The Best Treatment for Ankle Sprains?

For A Sprained Ankle, Consider Seeing Us First-Here’s Why

If you play sports, there’s a strong chance you will sprain your ankle at some point. Ankle sprains account for up to 45% of all sports injuries, and approximately 25,000 people sprain their ankle every day in the U.S. In addition, about 10% of visits to the emergency department (ED) are for ankle sprains, which leads to direct medical costs of $2 billion. Most sprains (41%) occur in basketball, followed by football and soccer, which is mainly because each of these sports involve lots of jumping and cutting movements, which significantly increase the risk for sprains.

Ankle sprains involve the ligaments of the ankle joint, which are flexible bands of tissue that connect one bone to another. Ligaments are elastic and can be stretched to a certain length and then return to their original position, but they have a limit. When any of the ligaments in the ankle is stretched beyond its maximum range of motion, it becomes damaged, which is called a sprain. Most ankle sprains involve pain, swelling, tenderness, stiffness, and some degree of instability, depending on the severity of the sprain.

What You Do Right After a Sprain Can Impact Your Future

If you do sprain your ankle, the prognosis is usually quite good, and most people can get back to sports or training within about 4–6 weeks; however, what you do immediately after the sprain will likely influence your eventual outcome. Some individuals will go to an urgent care center or the emergency room/department (ED), especially if the injury seems serious. While this might seem like a logical decision, it can have negative repercussions that many patients don’t expect. When a patient goes to an urgent care center or the ED for an ankle injury, an X-ray may be ordered to determine the extent of the injury and if any bones have been fractured. But X-rays aren’t necessary for many ankle injuries and undergoing an X-ray can lead to longer wait times, higher healthcare costs, and unnecessary radiation to patients.

Consider Seeing a Physical Therapist Right After an Ankle Sprain

An alternative approach is to instead visit a physical therapist after the ankle injury. Physical therapists are cautious about ordering tests like X-rays and will only do so if they believe it to be necessary. To determine if an X-ray should be ordered, here at Bacci & Glinn Physical Therapy, we utilize the Ottawa Ankle Rules, which are a set of guidelines developed in 1992 to reduce the use of imaging tests like X-rays for ankle and foot injuries. A recent study found that if the Ottawa Ankle Rules were used universally, it would eliminate one-third of all X-rays performed for ankle and foot injuries.

Once we’ve taken a look at the ankle sprain, our physical therapists will get you started the appropriate treatment program for your ankle injury. Although each program differs depending on the type and severity of the injury, most will include the following components:

  • Mobility & pain relieving techniques to restore ankle movement
  • Strengthening exercises to help patients regain strength and prevent long-term ankle disability
  • Balance training to improve stability and help patients to learn to deal with any potential hazards
  • Functional training, which consists of performing activities patients might have difficulty with like walking, running, or jumping

If you’ve recently injured your ankle, physical therapy may be the best option for you.

Contact Bacci & Glinn Physical at 559-733-2478 (Visalia) or 559-582-1027 (Hanford) for more information or to schedule an appointment today.

Basketball Injury Prevention Program

Basketball Injuries Are Extremely Common, But A Warm-Up Program May Help Mitigate This Risk

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the country, and its popularity continues to grow as athletes are drawn to its fast pace and evolving nature. Unfortunately, one downside of this increased participation in basketball is that it also comes with a higher rate of injuries in a sport that’s already known to be high-risk.

Basketball Results in A Lot of Stress on the Knees & Ankles

To play basketball competitively, players must move at fast speeds and display great agility and coordination on the court. Though every position requires a different set of skills, each player needs to run, jump, make quick changes in direction, and accelerate and decelerate with and without the ball. Though these rapid movements are integral to the game, they also put competitive players at risk for injury.

Basketball Injuries are Common – Ankle & Knee Problems Happen the Most

Injuries can occur in several regions of the body, but the ankle is by far the area injured most. Ankle sprains account for about 25% of all injuries in basketball, which makes them a major concern for basketball players of all ages. Ankle sprains occur any time the foot twists or rolls beyond its normal range of motion, which is usually from a player landing on another player’s foot wrong or twisting the ankle when making a cut. The knees are another problem area in basketball players due to the running, jumping, and cutting motions involved. Jumper’s knee and injuries to the meniscus and ligaments—including the ACL—are all very common in all age groups of basketball players. Ankle sprains, ACL tears, and other injuries can all cause basketball players to be sidelined for an extended period, and in some cases, to miss an entire season.

Study Monitors Players on 31 Basketball Teams for Two Seasons

To help mitigate this risk, many basketball teams have now incorporated injury-prevention programs into their routine, often with successful outcomes. This is exemplified in a recently published study, which highlights the type of impact a program like this can have on young basketball players.

For the study, players on 31 high school or club basketball teams—307 male and female players aged 11 to 18 years—were monitored for two seasons. During the first season, players only participated in a standard of practice warm-up. During the second season, all players participated in a training warm-up program called the Surveillance in High school and community sport to Reduce (SHRed) Injuries Basketball, which was designed to reduce ankle and knee injuries in youth basketball players. The SHRed Injuries Basketball program lasted 10 minutes and consisted of 13 exercises, which were intended to improve aerobics, agility, strength, and balance. A log was then kept of all injuries that occurred during these two seasons and comparisons were made between them to tease out any notable differences.

Study Results Demonstrate that Ankle Sprains & Knee Injuries Can be Significantly Reduced

Results showed that the SHRed Injuries Basketball program was protective of both knee and ankle injuries, as the rate of injuries was 36% lower in season 2 than season 1. This type of program can easily be incorporated into a warm-up routine, and based on these findings, it may yield dividends and keep young basketball players on the court injury-free for longer.

We’re Here to Help

At Bacci & Glinn Physical Therapy, we can provide assistance with an injury-prevention program for your basketball team, or if an injury does occur, we can guide players through a comprehensive rehabilitation program that will get them back on the court as quickly and safely as possible.

If You’ve Already Suffered a Sports Injury – We Can Help You Get Back in the Game

Call us at 559-733-2478 (Visalia) or 559-582-1027 (Hanford) for more information or schedule an appointment today.

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