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Sprains and strains
Sprain type injuries is a peculiar facet in the world of sports. It affects just about every physically demanding sport from water sports such as water polo to a field sport such as hockey (maybe not chess, even though its considered a sport. But who knows!).

In the grand scheme of the sports world, a sprain becomes an everyday part of the package. Either you yourself or a teammate is complaining of knee issues or a rolled ankle, or whatever it may be.

The point is that sprains is something that we have to accept as part of the sports world. However, what we should not accept is taking a defeat!

Sprains can be managed and treated when they occur, or even prevented if tackled properly. Osteopaths are musculoskeletal specialists that will help you overcome sprains obtained through physical activity.

Let’s take a sprained ankle occurring in a hockey game, for example. By the way, sprained ankles are one of the most common if not the most common injuries in sports (Doherty et al. 123-140). The most common is inversion ankle sprain which involves the foot rolling in. the three main structures that can be affected are the anterior talofibular ligament, posterior talofibular ligament and the calcaneofibular ligament (Van den Bekerom et. Al., 2012). Injury to these ligaments will result in swelling and instability of the foot and ankle region. It will feel as though your injured foot is “giving way” when walking or unstable when standing or walking.

The way an osteopath will approach a sprained ankle is very methodical. For example, the osteopath will avoid jumping straight to rehabilitation of the sprain. Whereas, it is common for certain physical therapists to take this approach. The reason to avoid exercises to the area of injury is to reduce further damage to the area. Don’t take this the wrong way, but rehabilitation is very important. However, it is all in due time!

The first thing is to reduce the inflammation in the area. Followed by reduce the tension of the muscular structures that are guarding that area due to the injury and to improve mobility of the joints in relation to the area of injury.

Flexibility is an important component to address before exercises are given. In a sprained ankle the flexibility of the calf muscles and the quads and hamstrings improves the outcome of rehab (Richie et. Al., 2015).

Next is the introduction of balance and proprioception. In this step of the process certain balance exercises are given to help the nervous system get the body to help reestablish stability in the region in dynamic movements (Kalirtahinam, Deivendran et al, 2017). This is very vital for prevention of reinjuring in the future!

When all the areas above are done then exercise to strengthen the area of injury is implemented. This may involve exercises such as using free weights or even body weights to start off with.

This approach to injury has a very effective outcome as all the aspects are covered step by step without fail help to get the person back to optimal health and movement.

Here at pure healthcare the above mentioned approach is used regularly in sprain type injuries where consistent great results are achieved time after time.


  1. Doherty, Cailbhe et al. “The Incidence And Prevalence Of Ankle Sprain Injury: A Systematic Review And Meta-Analysis Of Prospective Epidemiological Studies”. Sports Medicine 44.1 (2013): 123-140. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.
  2. Kalirtahinam, Deivendran et al. “Does Neuromuscular Exercise Training Improve Proprioception In Ankle Lateral Ligament Injury Among Athletes? Systematic Review And Meta-Analysis”. Scientia Medica 27.1 (2017).
  3. Richie, Douglas H., and Faye E. Izadi. “Return To Play After An Ankle Sprain”. Clinics in Podiatric Medicine and Surgery 32.2 (2015): 195-215.
  4. Van den Bekerom, Michel P. J. et al. “Management Of Acute Lateral Ankle Ligament Injury In The Athlete”. Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy 21.6 (2012): 1390-1395.



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