Impaired Mechanics: stiffness in the joint or decreased flexibility in the muscles leads to decreased range of motion; weakness and muscle imbalance, impaired posture
Injury: sudden impact or load to the tissue
Chronic compensations: a previous injury or fear of future injury can lead to avoidance of activity in certain muscle groups while simultaneously causing overuse of other tissues.
Renew Sports Rehab Approach
Break the pain cycle through education, manual therapy, and increasing tissue mobility
Improve the mechanics of the joints, muscles, and nerves in the area during daily functional tasks and exercise/sport specific activities
Load the tissue to improve strength, power, and endurance to ensure that the tissues are prepared for all desired demands without being fearful of reinjury.
Ankle Specific Treatments
Decrease tissue inflammation through bracing, taping, and massage
Improve tissue mobility through massage, instrument assisted mobilization, cupping, dry needling, and stretching
Increase core, hip, and knee control to decrease irregular forces through the ankle
Improve strength of the calf and intrinsic foot muscles
Improve joint nutrition and restore full range of motion
Optimize balance and single limb control
Progress plyometric and functional activities (jumping, running, cutting, squatting, climbing)
Progress aerobic/endurance conditioning
Discuss proper footwear recommendations
Important Things to Understand
Tissues Heal. The body is designed to repair itself, but sometimes our system gets stuck in the inflammatory phase of tissue repair and needs a little help to move onto the recovery phase
The true source of pain is often poorly correlated with x-ray and MRI imaging results. It is possible to have tissue damage on imaging that causes no pain or functional limitations. And it is possible to have pain with no visible findings on imaging – usually a result of nervous tissue over sensitivity.
Soreness after exercise is not the goal, but it is also not always a sign of concern. True strength gains require an overload to the system which causes micro-damage. As that tissue recovers, it does so thicker and stronger than before. Soreness should be used as a way to monitor if the tissue is ready to take on more load, should stay at the current level, or should back down training intensity until the tissue is more prepared.
Return to previous/desired activities is almost always possible through good education, proper mechanics, and progressive tissue loading.