ankle pain

Ankle Pain

Ankle pain can be extremely debilitating and restricts our ability to return to sport and everyday activities.

Some people will experience ankle pain following a sports injury or overuse however it’s common in non-athletes too.

It is very important to rehab with thorough proprioceptive and strengthening exercises to ensure you get good results following an injury.

Our physiotherapists and sports therapists are experienced in treating lower limb and foot pain and will identify the source and guide you on the quickest route to recovery.

ankle rehabilitation on a wobble cushion

Will My Ankle Pain Fully Resolve?

Many people are worried that the pain is here to stay. Physiotherapy uses evidence-based treatments to help you return to the things you love. In my experience, 90% of ankle joint pain cases fully resolve without the need for further intervention beyond physio.

We can identify quickly the need for further referral however most can be helped with conservative rehabilitation without the need for surgery.

Will Physio For My Ankle Pain Hurt?

Physio can sometimes be a little uncomfortable as you begin to mobilise and strengthen the muscles. We always work within pain limits and will always work within levels that you can cope with. High-level rehab (which is so often missed for non-athletes) although challenging is often not painful but VERY effective.

man running

Could My Ankle Pain Be Coming From My Shoes?

We often will assess the wear on your shoes. Many people experience ankle pain when walking or ankle pain when running.

This is often described as ‘ankle pain inside.’

There can be many causes and our Chartered Physios will check the symptoms of ankle pain to see whether it is the ankle joint, ankle ligaments or tendons that have been affected.

Recovery following ankle pain

Ankle pain: Case Study

Richard attended the clinic with a 3-month history of left ankle pain.

With a military course in 6 weeks, his goal was to be able to run and complete the fitness aspects of the course. He had previously received military physio but felt he had not yet fully recovered and required a second opinion. His main concern was re-injury and the ankle not feeling strong. Pain was reported as mild on the lateral (outside) of the ankle.

On assessment we identified the original injury was a likely Grade II tear of the anterior talofibular ligament.

On objective examination, there was:

  1. Tightness of left calf compared to right
  2. Poor balance left (unable to complete unstable bridge/spit squat ir lunge.
  3. Poor tolerance to plyometric load.

A clear plan was designed with the course in mind. Tissue healing times were explained to the patient and the principles of progressive overload were explained.

Treatment consisted of 2 sessions weekly with home exercises 6 days per week. We combined hands-on joint mobilisation, and massage for tightness in the calf alongside proprioceptive, strengthening and plyometric exercises.

Alter G was used with 85% weight and increased speed and distance as tolerated.

At the end of 6 weeks, Richard was performing box jumps, 10 k runs, hops onto Bosu ball and speed work with change of direction with no problems. We performed a return to play to assess injury risk for the course which he passed with flying colours.

We must help patients to recover full range of movement, strength and confidence in their affected ankle. Many people will develop compensation strategies and avoid activities they love for fear of re-injury.

This has significant health consequences and therefore early intervention is helpful so that people do not develop guarding or avoidance behaviours.