Showing posts with label recovery. Show all posts

Ankle Sprains

ankle sprains

The ankle is a complex joint which allows the foot to perform a number of movements. It is connected to the foot bones by a number of ligaments at the sides and back of the joint. While these ligaments are normally very strong, extreme stretching or awkward movements can lead to injury of the ligaments.

Ankle Injuries – Some of the More Common Causes

The ankle is a rather mobile, flexible joint, however there are certain factors that increase the likelihood of a ligament injury:
  • walking on uneven surfaces
  • sudden twisting movement
  • playing sports – especially jumping and landing awkwardly
  • weak ankle muscles – not strong enough to protect the ankle
  • previous ankle sprains, particularly if the treatment or rehabilitation was inadequate
When a ligament injury of the ankle does occur, it can generally be classified into one of three grades of severity, depending on the extent of ligament damage and associated symptoms.

Grade 1 Ankle Ligament Injury – Minimal Damage

This type of injury means there has been some stretching or minor tearing of the ligament(s). The symptoms include pain, swelling, possibly some ankle joint stiffness but not much functional loss. In other words, despite the pain and swelling, a person can still weight-bear and mobilise – though with some difficulty.

Treatment of mild ligament damage is by resting the foot. The less weight-bearing on the affected foot, the better. Applying an ice pack, compression bandage and elevating the foot above heart level are also very important.

Grade 2 Ankle Sprains – Moderate Ligament Injury

In this type of injury, there is a more severe tearing of the ligament. The symptoms of Grade 2 sprains are more intense – there is usually significantly more swelling and a great deal of pain. The ankle joint becomes rather stiff and range of movement is very limited. The stability of the ankle joint is also compromised.

As with Grade 1 ankle sprains, it is very important to rest the foot. Weight bearing should be avoided completely, if possible. Elevating the affected ankle above heart level, using a compression bandage and regular application of an ice pack are also essential.


Depending on the intensity of the symptoms, anti-inflammatory medication may be indicated.

Following the acute phase of the injury, rehabilitation is highly recommended in order to strengthen the ankle and restore good movement and balance.

Grade 3 Ankle Ligament Tear – Severe Ankle Injury That Requires Medical Treatment

This is the most severe of the three types of ankle ligament injuries, due to a complete rupture of the ligament. Symptoms include severe swelling and pain, gross instability of the ankle and consequently a loss of ankle function.

Treatment of this type of injury often requires surgical intervention, in order to repair the ruptured ligament. Immobilisation of the ankle in a cast is also needed, usually for around two to three weeks and the injured person could be on crutches for several weeks.

Surgery and/or immobilization of the ankle is usually followed by physiotherapy. Rehabilitation is crucial to restore the joint to its pre-injury function and to prevent any future ankle injuries.

Recovery Timeframes for Ankle Sprains Vary According to Severity of the Injury

Recovery from a Grade 1 ankle sprain is fairly quick. Depending on the extent of swelling, full recovery can be achieved within a week or two.

Grade 2 ankle sprains take four to six weeks to heal. This timeframe includes the resting of the ankle in the acute phase of the injury, as well as the subsequent rehabilitation phase. Timely treatment and adequate rehabilitation will generally reduce the recovery timeframe for Grade 2 ankle sprains.

Grade 3 sprains will take longest to heal with eight to 12 weeks being the average timeframe to full recovery. Following medical advice is very important and as mentioned before, rehabilitation is of utmost importance. Failure to treat and rehabilitate a severe ankle sprain will not only increase recovery timeframes, but will almost certainly lead to ongoing ankle problems, such as recurring injuries, pain, swelling, stiffness and poor balance.

Ankle sprains can vary in severity from Grade 1 to Grade 3, but regardless of the severity of the injury, treatment within the first 48 hours will reduce the acute symptoms and will speed up recovery.
read more →

Periodization of Workouts


Many athletes and bodybuilders do huge amounts of training programs with little regard to their effects or advantages. It does little good to do 20 sets of 20 reps in the squat if you can’t walk for a week or get injured. Smart athletes practice efficient programs that bring results. More does not mean necessarily better. Insufficient recovery interferes with the force generating ability of muscle and training adaptation.

Workout

Periodization of training uses different combinations of resistance, reps, rest intervals, and sets in the training program. It varies the training motivation, allows adequate recuperation between workouts, and methodically prepares athletes for intense training sessions.

Brazilian scientists found that a nonlinear periodization model which in essence is varied high-intensity and high-volume workouts in the same cycle, was superior to linear periodization containing high-volume and low-intensity, to low-volume and high-intensity over several weeks or constant load training. The ideal mixture of exercise and rest depends on the goal of the program and the flexibility of the athlete.Bodybuilders should use programs that make them work hard, provide sufficient rest, and then make them work hard all over again.
read more →

Safeguard the Achilles

Achilles tendon
One of the most painful tendon injuries is Achilles. But there are also ways to avoid these injuries. Here are some of them:

  • You’ll feel a burning and piercing in the tendon above your heel and it can even make a crackling sound when you move it. Any higher up your calf and it’s more likely that you’ve strained or pulled a muscle. Rupturing your Achilles tendon is a exceptionally painful experience and you’ll know when you’ve done it.
  • Your Achilles tendon connects your calf muscles to your heel bone and is made of thousands of individual fibers of collagen. Restricted blood flow to this area slows repair and pain will worsen if you keep training.
  • Four important factors in healing the Achilles are: rest, ice, compression and elevation. If your tendon is harmed take a break from all weight bearing sport (except swimming) for at least 2 weeks. You can recover from mild injury in a couple of weeks but a severe one can take 5 months.
  • In order to prevent Achilles injury in the first place Increase your running, cycling or rowing distance by no more than 5% each week and if your feet turn inwards when you run, buy inner soles or orthotics to correct this. Also try running on grass and stretching your calves after workouts to keep them flexible, then add the strength moves to your routine.
read more →