There is a reason that the ankle sprain can be so profoundly damaging. How many of you have sprained your ankle and walked it off?… And then walked into a physio or chiropractic clinic 5 years later for your back pain that’s been coming on gradually for the past couple of months? You have no reason that you can think of for this back pain. The assessment for your back and pelvis goes on – a diagnosis is made; perhaps your pelvis has been found to be rotated or mal aligned, perhaps the same is true for the joints in your back. My question is always… why? Why suddenly did this happen? Digging deeper into the history can be quite useful at this point.
It turns out, when you sprain your ankle and you don’t rehab it properly, a lot of different things can happen. Not only do the ligaments in the ankle joint stretch out and the muscles that cross the joint get strained but without proper rehab, bones can get jammed together out of their normal alignment. From these things there are the obvious issues – long term loss of flexibility, stability and strength. This are things that obviously occur at the joint that you injured.
So what about the joints above it? I love this photo to describe that an unresolved ankle sprain is rarely just an ankle sprain.
Don’t get too caught up in the words – just look at the rotational patterns and how the body compensates to get you back walking if the injury hasn’t been rehabilitated properly. It may feel fine until things break down, years later. So today – check out your feet. Do they look the same? Do they feel the same? If not, it might be time to consider strengthening those feet! See my post on the foot core. Rolling the bottom of the foot on a ball, picking up marbles or simply splaying and squeezing your toes can all help. When you are standing, plant your big toe into the ground and try to stand equally on both feet.
It never hurts to consider your past injuries and how they could be impacting you today. It’s never too late to regain healthy body tissues so that you maintain or regain healthy movement for life!