START (St Andrews Rehabilitation Therapies) is the new Sports Medicine Clinic opening at the University Sports Centre. It is open to staff, students and the general public and its team consists of two physiotherapists, a sports medicine doctor, podiatrist and massage therapist.
Keep an eye on Saint Sport for details on common injuries and how to prevent and treat them, starting this week with the ankle sprain.
Mechanism: “Inversion” injuries normally happen when the foot is pointed and coming into contact with the ground and the outside of the foot ends up taking all of the weight. It is most common in rugby, football, netball, basketball, volleyball and hockey. Cross country runners are also at risk due to uneven surfaces.
Normally, there is instant pain on the outside of the ankle and swelling may start within a few minutes. Bruising can extend all the way to the toes.
Management: In the first 48 hours…
Things to do:
Ice (20 mins/2hours)
It is important to try and walk as normally as possible as pain will permit, even if it means shorter steps due to the restricted range. Taking anti-inflammatory medication for a few days can help minimise swelling.
When able to walk with discomfort, start doing some basic ankle movements: pointing the toes, pulling them back up, twisting the foot to the outside and inside (gently).
Days four to fourteen: Improving proprioception is the key to preventing the injury recurring.
– Standing on one leg when brushing your teeth.
– Stepping side to side onto one leg and for 3 seconds.
– Standing on a cushion with your eyes closed. Aim for 30 seconds.
– Jumping and turning 90 degrees to land on the affected side.
– Walking on uneven surfaces (beach), grass, gentle hills.
Once able to walk pain free and do most of these exercises with confidence, start jogging and gradually increase the amount of twisting movements and intensity of changes of direction.
Taping or wearing a supportive brace is an option, but only for the short term.
For more information about this or about START, visit www.startclinic.co.uk or contact Bernie on 07900 555 005.