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Cape Town, South Africa
Recurring Ankle Sprains

Are recurring ankle sprains limiting your running?

 

Ankle sprains can be very frustrating to runners.

 

Traditionally runners either ignore their injuries and soldier on, or when they seek treatment, the rehabilitation focus is on strengthening the glutes and calf muscles. And still, in both scenarios, runners often continue to suffer from recurring ankle sprains and pains.

 

We would like to share with you a different approach and that these injuries often don’t need endless amount of rehabilitation exercises and the “fault” is rarely our glutes and calf muscles.

 

Subconsciously our muscles listen to the bones to which they are attached.

 

Our bones and joints get influenced by gravity, mass, momentum and on some occasions injuries. The answer may lie with a very important little bone in the ankle called the talus…

Talus 1
Talus 2

The talus is a fascinating little bone.

 

First of all, it’s one of the few bones in the body that does not have a muscle directly attached to it. Many ligaments keep it supported, but not a single muscle.

 

The question is why?

No matter if you believe in design or evolution this little piece of anatomy is extremely ingenious in that it allows the talus to move in space wherever gravity together with  your body mass and momentum pulls it.

 

A complete chain reaction follows within the body that stimulates certain muscles through communicating with bones above and below the talus, creating a reaction within muscles to prevent us from falling over.

 

Sadly, ankle sprains can influence the position of this talus between the lower leg and calcaneus (the heel bone) which in turn can influence your balance reactions and make it so much easier to stumble and sprain your ankle.

 

So if you suffer from recurrent ankle sprains, even though you have invested time (and money) into rehabilitation exercises, ask your physiotherapist to assess the position of your talus. The answer to solving your persistent injuries might lie in improving the position of this marvelous little bone.

 

Toni-Lynne Monger

Physiotherapist and Owner

The Balance Group; 12 Loop Street, CBD, Cape Town