Treating Pesky Ankle Pains With Physiotherapy

Treating Pesky Ankle Pains With Physiotherapy

If your ankle is in agony, or if there is a pain that you can’t seem to shake, it may be time to see a physiotherapist. Imagine this scenario: you get knocked over during your sport or twist your ankle the wrong way during an exercise. The next thing you know, your ankle isn’t capable of bearing your weight without you feeling a sharp pain. This situation is all too common, especially in athletes. Ankle pain can be the result of a sprain or strain, but it can also occur as a result of different slow-growing causes. Nevertheless, no matter what the reason may be, one thing still rings true: ankle pain is unfortunate and limiting, especially when ankle mobility is a large part of your physical performance. For more information on ankle pain and how physiotherapy can help you get back in the game, contact NRG Athletes Physiotherapy today.

Common causes of ankle pain

Your ankle is a complex assembly of nerves, tendons, ligaments, muscles, and bones. While the ankle’s main function is to tilt upward and downward, it can also turn inward and outward to a certain degree. Whether your injury is due to a trauma or an underlying condition, it is undeniable that the ankle pain you experience will hinder certain aspects of your life.

Ankle pains can be placed into two categories: acute and chronic. Acute pains occur suddenly, due to a trauma, such as a collision, impact, twist, or some other form of damage. Acute pain is typically severe at first but tends to go away once the injury is healed. Chronic pains are persistent, typically lasting for 3 months or longer, and are usually the result of an underlying condition.

Sprains and strains are among the most common ankle injuries. Sprains occur when a ligament is stretched or torn, while strains occur when a muscle or tendon is stretched or torn. With sprains, you are more likely to see bruising, while strains are more likely to result in muscle spasms. Both injuries can cause intense pain, especially initially, and can cause swelling and decreased range of motion in the affected ankle. Fractures are another type of acute injury, which is much more severe than a sprain or strain. They tend to be even more painful, and they may require a form of intentional immobilization, such as a walking boot or cast.

Some chronic conditions that can result in ankle pain include:

  • Arthritis. The two most common types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage in your joints diminishes through excessive overuse or “wear and tear.” Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the joints, causing them to become inflamed. Another form of arthritis is known as gout, which causes pain and tenderness in the joints, especially in the ankles and feet.
  • Bursitis. This is an inflammation of the cushioning structures located in the ankle joint.
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome. This is a type of nerve impingement in the ankle that occurs when the surrounding tissue becomes inflamed.

How physiotherapy can correct ankle pains:

If you have sustained an acute injury, X-rays will typically be required in order to determine your diagnosis. Sprains or strains will typically be prescribed R.I.C.E treatments initially, also known as “rest, ice, compression, and elevation.” Fractures typically vary but will need other treatments. You may also be provided with an anti-inflammatory medication if the pain and swelling are severe. If chiropractic adjustment is needed, it will be postponed until the initial trauma has subsided.

However, physiotherapy treatments can usually start right away, whether your injury is acute or chronic. Your physiotherapist will take into account your condition, symptoms, health history, and physical goals before creating a treatment plan for you. After this is decided, your physiotherapist may prescribe non-weight-bearing exercises, such as:

  • Inversion/eversion. This exercise requires you to point your feet either to the left or right.
  • Resistance training. This is usually done with a TheraBand looped around the foot.
  • Plantar flexion.
  • “Toe drawing.” Your physiotherapist may have you “draw” letters of the alphabet with your toes.
  • Isometric exercises. These are gentle exercises, used to build ankle muscle strength.

Your physiotherapist may also perform specialized physiotherapy treatments, such as manual therapy, ice and heat therapies, ultrasound, or massage as deemed fit. These are all aimed at relieving pain, promoting healing, and improving your range of motion. If you are concerned about your ankle pain, contact NRG Athletes Physiotherapy today. Our highly trained physiotherapists will help rehabilitate your ankle safely and effectively.

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Don’t Mask the Symptoms: Treat the Origin with Physiotherapy

Looking for a Drug-Free Pain Solution? Look Into Physiotherapy

Pain can be a helpful messenger, an alert that something in your body needs fixing ‒ but it can also be an agonizing annoyance that ruins your quality of life. To make matters worse, many pain problems are rooted in deep-set underlying conditions, often originating in a different part of the body than the part exhibiting symptoms. Medication may mask your pain temporarily, but it isn’t going to solve a chronic underlying functional problem. For a more meaningful pain solution, take advantage of the drug-free options we offer at our NRG Athletes Therapy Fitness Winnipeg, CA center.

The Origins of Pain Problems

The cause of acute pain may be clear enough, especially if it accompanies an auto accident injury, work injury, infection, operation or other event. As the affected part of your body heals, the pain generally fades away. But this is not necessarily the case with some forms of pain. Chronic pain may linger for months or years with no obvious cause in sight. This pain may be due to:

  • Areas of internal scar tissue buildup that restrict neighboring muscles and connective tissues (adhesions)
  • Extended disuse after a lengthy recovery period (such as frozen shoulder after many weeks with your arm in a sling)
  • Degenerative joint conditions such as osteoarthritis, which produce chronic pain and inflammation
  • Muscle weakness, knots or spasms related to poor posture or an unbalanced body
  • Chronic pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia, which may affect both nerves and muscles
  • Chronic overuse injuries such as tendinitis, plantar fasciitis or carpal tunnel syndrome

Modern medicine tends to turn to drugs early and often in an effort to alleviate pain problems. Unfortunately, this approach may turn out to be nothing more than a stopgap. The drugs may mute the pain for a few hours, but the underlying problem that’s causing the pain remains untreated. As long as that problem persists, so will your long-term pain problems. This may force you to use more and more medication ‒ a troubling proposition, especially for addictive personalities or individuals who are already on other medications.

Natural Treatment From Our Physiotherapist

Our physiotherapists can succeed where painkilling drugs fail. Once we understand the actual origin point of your pain, we can prescribe a physiotherapy regimen aimed at correcting (or at least reducing) that functional abnormality. Our physiotherapists may start by addressing your immediate discomfort with passive physiotherapy techniques. These natural treatment techniques can include any combination of:

  • Deep tissue massage to break an adhesions grip on your internal tissues
  • Ultrasound therapy, in which sound waves enhance blood flow and relax tight muscle fibers
  • Heat or cold applications to reduce swelling and inflammation
  • Electrical muscle stimulation, which uses tiny amounts of current to stimulate your body’s natural painkillers (endorphins)

Once you’re responding to passive physiotherapy, we can introduce active physiotherapy. Our physiotherapists can prescribe exercises that address both localized pain and referred pain problems. For instance, gentle stretching exercises from our physiotherapists can loosen tight, painful muscles and increase mobility in arthritic joints, while core training exercises that correct your balance may relieve chronic strain or neurological symptoms in the body.

How effective is physiotherapy as a drug-free natural pain solution? The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) states that non-pharmaceutical pain treatment is to be preferred over pharmaceuticals such as opioids ‒ and may actually do a better job of controlling pain conditions.

Stop Your Pain at the Source ‒ Contact Our physiotherapy Office

Our physiotherapists are ready to help you stop your pain at its source, with no need for drugs. Contact NRG Athletes Physiotherapy Winnipeg, CA today to schedule your appointment!

Feeling Stiff and Achy? Physiotherapy Can Help!

Everyone wakes up feeling some pain in their joints or muscles from time to time. But if you find yourself consistently waking up stiff and achy, it might be time for pain-relief work with a physiotherapist. Aching or stiff joints may be a minor problem that is easily remedied; in other cases, your doctor may have diagnosed a condition or ailment that will benefit from physiotherapy. We’ve worked with a wide range of patients who struggle with aches and pains, and NRG Athletes Therapy Fitness Winnipeg, CA would be happy to work with you to help you enjoy a better quality of life as well!

Why Am I Stiff and Achy When I Wake Up?

Joint tissues become irritated throughout the day and by the evening, when your mind is tired, you might not even notice it. When you fall asleep and remain mostly immobile overnight, that allows the inflammation to grow thicker and irritate the joints even more. The result is that when you wake up in the morning, your joints are stiff and achy. After you start moving around, the inflammation becomes more liquid-like and the pain will lessen. One common remedy for this, which your physiotherapist is likely to recommend, is that you stay properly hydrated throughout the day. Staying hydrated allows your body’s tissues to function at their normal pace, whereas dehydration slows down your chemical processes.

More Serious Medical Conditions

If your doctor has diagnosed you with a more serious medical condition that impacts your joints and tissues, physiotherapy can probably help. Here are some of the most common ailments that can be relieved with the guidance of a physiotherapist:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Osteoarthritis.
  • Lupus.
  • Bursitis.
  • Gout.
  • Bone cancer.

All of these conditions can cause aching, stiffness and joint pain. A physiotherapist will work with you to help you try to achieve a greater range of motion with affected limbs or joints, and to relieve the pain so you can enjoy a better quality of life.

Tips for Stiff and Aching Joints

Your physiotherapy regimen will largely depend on your specific symptoms or diagnosis. However, there are a lot of common recommendations that work hand-in-hand with physiotherapy. Here are some tips that your physiotherapist will likely share with you on your journey to wellness.

  • Get Good Sleep. Getting enough sleep at night creates a circular benefit with physiotherapy exercises. When you get enough sleep, it increases your ability to effectively exercise. When you exercise regularly, it helps you to get better sleep. Better sleep habits and physical exercise are a powerful “one-two punch” for keeping aches and stiffness away.
  • Use Better Posture. If your work requires you to sit at a desk for long hours, or if you stay sedentary for long periods every day, try to get up every half hour for some light stretches. Move around to keep your circulation going, which helps to relieve joint pain. Proper posture when sitting or standing will help your joints to function properly. When we use bad posture, it puts strain on areas of the body that weren’t meant to be stressed.
  • Improve Your Diet. Be sure to consume lots of brightly colored fruits and vegetables. These healthy foods have more antioxidants and vitamins, which fight off the inflammation that can lead to joint pain. A better diet also helps you to get better sleep and helps your body receive more benefit from exercise.

Physiotherapy Exercises

You don’t have to be a bodybuilder or an Olympic-class athlete to work with a physiotherapist. Most of the exercises and stretches that your physiotherapist will recommend are simple to perform and don’t require any special equipment — and most of our patients are just regular people (not super athletes).

Contact NRG Athletes Physiotherapy Winnipeg, CA today to schedule a consultation on how physiotherapy can help you relieve those aches and pains!

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