Let’s start with the meaning of the term ” sprain “: we mean a trauma to a joint that leads to a movement that goes beyond the physiological limit of the joint, and which therefore involves a stretching of the muscular, tendon, capsular and ligamentous complex. In severe cases, the sprain is associated with injury to the capsule and ligaments, which have broken in the last attempt to keep the joint stable physiotherapy for ankle pain.

In any case, in this type of trauma there is no detachment of the joint heads otherwise we would speak of ” dislocation “. In the case of the ankle, the joint examined is the tibio-talus (between the leg bone, the tibia, and the first bone of the foot, the talus). Ankle sprains basically affect the lateral and medial compartments during excessive eversion or inversion of the foot.

Among the ligaments that tend to be damaged the most in case of ankle sprain we have the peroneo-calcaneal ligament which has the task of stabilizing the movements that lead to stress.

The ankle joint connects the skeleton of the leg with that of the foot, whose stability is guaranteed by an important ligament network, consisting of 3 ligaments supporting the lateral compartment and 4 in the medial (i.e. internal) compartment.

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Unlike what one might think, the ankle allows only two types of movements:

Flexion movement: when we bring the tip of the foot towards the front edge of the leg, walking on the heels for example;

Extension movement: when we move the toe away from the front edge of the leg, that is, as when we walk on toes.

These movements are made possible by the tibio-talar joint, which connects the bone of the tibia, which forms the main skeleton of the leg, with the talus, the bone located in the upper part of the foot.

The joints also participate in the joint complex of the ankle:

Distal Tibio-fibular joint: between the tibial bone and the fibula bone

Subtalar joint: between the calcaneus and the talus

Depending on the direction of movement that causes the distortion we speak of:

Lateral sprain : if it occurs in an excessive eversion movement, in which there is an internal rotation of the foot;

Medial sprain : if the sprain occurs in an excessive inversion movement in which there is an external rotation of the foot.