Disclaimer: Please be aware that information in this article is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding an injury or medical condition.
Written by: Melanie Talastas-Soriano BA-Kin, CAT(C), ISSA-CPT
Athletic Therapist, Personal Trainer
Winter season can be very cold and very slippery. The combination of cold temperature and fluffy snowfall can cause slippery roads and sidewalks. Driving and walking can be affected when the ground is slippery. Few cases this winter we heard of people/clients who unfortunately had fallen and broke their ankles. Even if you are careful, accident happens however, dealing with the stress on the body can be tough on anyone. This is how we can help you.
Here are three points on what to do when you find out that you had fractured your ankle.
Number ONE: Seek medical help immediately.
If you know for sure that you broke a bone or bones after slipping and falling outside, go to the closest emergency hospital. Unbearable pain or unable to move your foot/lower leg is an indication that it might be broken. Also, if you heard snap crackle or pop at the time of the accident that means something is or could be broken. I mentioned hospital because they can give you pain medication whereas if you had gone to PanAm first, they may have just advised you to go to the hospital/emerge. To confirm fracture, an X-ray would be done. Of course, you’re going to need someone to drive you there.
Number TWO: Seek the help of an Athletic Therapist to help you get through your injury on your way to recovery. Fast forward to confirming a fracture and perhaps done with the surgery, your doctor would have cleared you to start rehabilitation to improve your ankle joint function.
What to expect when you see an Athletic Therapist?
- Your injured limb will be assessed, meaning you will be expected to move the joint that is affected (ankle joint, knee joint or foot).
- Modalities can be use like heat, ice or which modality is necessary.
- Expect that the Athletic Therapist will do hands on treatment like massage, soft tissue release techniques to flush residual swelling and create good environment around the injured area.
- Expect to have a home program.
Number THREE: Simple and effective rehabilitation exercises can also be called as “home program” can help with muscle atrophy. Small foot or ankle movement is better than no movement at all. Starting with beginner exercises using small intrinsic muscles of the foot can help with the overall goal. The goal should be, weight bearing with no pain and walking as normally as you can before you got injured.
Let’s start with these non-weight bearing exercises:
- Towel crunches
- Actively moving your toes (flex, extend and splay)
- Complete the alphabet using your ankle joint
- Calf stretch using a robe or a belt
The full exercise prescription / home program parameters can vary from person to person. It is also between you and your therapist on how often and how long you do these exercises. If you know someone that needs Athletic Therapy treatment, send them our way so we can help improve their quality life.
We hope that you keep safe for the remaining of winter and enjoy the outdoors. For more exercise and rehab tips please visit our website at www.insahyu.com
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Team Insahyu: Certified Athletic Therapists and Certified Personal Trainers.