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Balance: Predictor of Future Ankle Injury?

This is the first entry in our monthly physiotherapy blog.  Moving forward we hope to have a number of our physiotherapists and professionals contribute to the blog on a regular basis.  Our goal is to provide useful information to all of our interested clients and colleagues on subjects that can benefit almost everyone.

The Problem

First up is BALANCE. You might ask why balance??  Well, as it turns out balance can be a key predictor of potential ankle injury.  A recent article suggests that poor performance in the single leg balance test could lead to a future ankle injury.

The work on this particular study was done to determine the possible risk of ankle injury as it relates to performance in the single leg balance test (for those who want all the details please refer to the study at:  Trojian TH, McKeag DB. Single leg balance test to identify risk of ankle sprains. Br J Sports Med 2006; 40(7): 610-613).  It was found that individuals unable to complete the single leg balance test showed a much higher incidence of ankle injury.  The test is simple, one must be able to hold their balance on one foot without support and little body movement for 10 seconds.

The Who

This study is significant for any individual in any sport or activity.  We see ankle injuries in the young and old, and all those in between that are active because of lack of strength and/or stability caused by inadequate training or weakness in the ankle joint.  In young people, growth and development may lead to an imbalance between joint stability and strength potentially affecting one’s balance.  Ankle joint weakness and poor stability of the joint can also lead to ankle injury in anyone, during any activity.

The Solution

What should we do??  Our physiotherapists can help you work on strengthening your hips, knees, and ankles by doing specific exercises as well as working on your core stability.  Improving your ability to maintain your balance for 10 sec on one leg is achieved by improving the interaction between all structures in your body.  But, simply practicing balancing on one leg in a safe environment can help too.

We primarily will work on ankle strengthening exercises using a Bosu ball, stability ball, Sissel disc, and other equipment that will also improve one’s balance.  Working on core stability and hip stability helps engage the entire lower body in achieving greater balance and stability in the pelvis, hips, knees, and ankles.  Give us a call for a consultation when you are ready.  And don’t forget to like us on our Facebook page.  You can also check us out on Twitter at @oakridgephysio.


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