Ever wondered about osteopathic treatment for ankle sprain? An ankle sprain involves damage to the ankle ligaments, typically sustained during simple sudden traumatic incidents, such as rolling or twisting the ankle. The ligaments on the outside (lateral aspect) of the ankle are much more susceptible to injury than the inside (medial aspect), and can produce pain, swelling, bruising and a sense of instability. Patients often get osteopathy for ankle sprain.

Ankle Sprain

Follow the RICER regime

Prompt assessment and management is essential in the first 24 to 48 hours, namely following the RICER regime and precautionary X-ray to rule out bony fracture, if indicated.

How osteopaths treat ankle sprain

Osteopaths treat ankle sprain frequently. Your osteopath at Enhance Osteopathy in Heidelberg may assist in the rehabilitation of an ankle sprain with the following treatment options*:

  • Soft tissue treatment of the ligament scar tissue to promote optimal stability and range of motion.
  • Active and passive mobility exercises to restore normal range of motion to the foot and ankle complex.
  • Balancing exercises to re-strengthen the receptors housed in the ligament that provide stability and improve position sense (proprioception).
  • Your osteopath can organise and assist with braces/strapping products if required for more vigorous exercise.

Osteopathy for Ankle Sprain
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Predisposing factors

It is also important to consider the various predisposing factors that may have caused the injury in the first place. This may include:

  • poor foot/ankle mechanics, i.e a stiff ankle joint will tend to make the ligaments work harder
  • poor footwear
  • joint restrictions and muscle tightness in the low back and pelvic region and/or lower limb
  • a leg length discrepancy which may be overloading one particular ankle.

Your osteopath may also refer you to a GP for any additional medications or treatment.

Why do I keep re-injuring my ankle?

Do you, or one of your children, keep re-injuring your ankle? It is common for people who have had one ankle sprain to then keep "going over" on the same side. The good news is this doesn't have to continue. Unless the ankle sprain is severe most people just get better over six to eight weeks. Unfortunately this means they never rehabilitate the ankle ligaments properly. The trauma to the ligaments affects a receptor, called a proprioceptor, which is located in the ligament. These receptors help you balance when you can't see the ground and there are some very simple exercises your osteopath can give you to help them function properly again. The result is that you will be less prone to re-injury.

Call Enhance Osteopathy today on 03 9499 9456 or book an appointment online if you would like our help with an ankle sprain.

*Research and evidence

The efficacy of manual joint mobilisation/manipulation in treatment of lateral ankle sprains: a systematic review.

Loudon JK, Reiman MP, Sylvain J.

Published in British Journal of Sports Medicine

For acute ankle sprains, manual joint mobilisation diminished pain and increased dorsiflexion range of motion. For treatment of subacute/chronic lateral ankle sprains, these techniques improved ankle range-of-motion, decreased pain and improved function.