LIFESTYLE NEWS - Exercise is one of the ways to improve your physical wellbeing and it aids in great measure to get rid of ailments, aches and pains. Follow the exercise programme provided by the biokineticists at Anine van der Westhuizen Biokineticist in George and feel the difference. This week biokineticist Megan van Huyssteen chats about ankle injuries.
What is the difference between sprains and strains? They are common injuries that share similar signs and symptoms, but involve different parts of your body.
A sprain is a stretching or tearing of ligaments - the tough bands of fibrous tissue that connect two bones in your joints. The most common location for a sprain is in your ankle.
A strain is a stretching or tearing of muscle or tendon. A tendon is a fibrous cord of tissue that connects muscles to bones. Strains often occur in the lower back and in the hamstring muscle in the back of your thigh.
This week I will be discussing the weakest and most commonly injured ligament in the ankle, the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL). This is a lateral ligament, which means it consists of a band of connective tissue and is located on the outside of the ankle. The injury can comprise of either soft tissue tears, avulsion (tearing apart) fractures or both.
The ATFL originates from the fibular malleolus, an area at the end of the calf bone (fibula), and connects the talus (ankle) bone to the anterior (front) fibula. Along with other ligaments and bones, it maintains stability in the ankle joint, protecting it from force.
Lateral ankle sprains occur as a result of overstretching the ATFL - the joint that keeps the ankle stable. This happens when a person lands on the ankle with the toes pointed and the foot turned in. This puts a strain on the ATFL joint as it takes the full force of the body's motion and most often leads to injury. The ATFL joint stabilises the ankle by limiting the toes' pointing and the foot rotating inwards.
There are different degrees of sprains:
Your ankle's ligaments have stretched too far but have not torn.
- Mild pain and swelling
- Limited joint stiffness and instability
- Uncomfortable jogging or jumping.
The most common type of sprain, which results in a partial tear of the ligament.
- Lots of swelling and bruising
- Moderate pain
- Loss of motion or use of your ankle
- Difficulty walking.
In the most severe type of sprain, the ligament has been completely torn.
- Severe swelling and pain
- Instability of the joint
- Extreme loss of motion
- Significant pain while walking.
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