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What to do when an old ankle injury flares up

What to do when an old ankle injury flares up
3 minutes, 17 seconds

Nearly 2 million people in the U.S. experience ankle injuries each year. They can occur for a variety of reasons including intense physical activity like sports games or even just walking. Ankle injuries could include a rolled ankle, a broken ankle, ligament tears and more. If you’ve injured your ankle in the past but you occasionally still feel pain or discomfort in that area of injury, there might be a couple of reasons for this.

Why might ankle injuries flare up?

  • Your injury never completely healed — If you never took the time to properly rest or to get the treatment your injury needs, it may not be fully healed. To walk around with an old unhealed ankle injury is to significantly increase your odds of experiencing a flare-up.
  • Your muscles have weakened — Sometimes when we stay off a foot or ankle to give it time to heal, we may avoid aggravating the injury but it may also cause our muscles to weaken without use. It takes about two weeks for strength to decline without regular use. Your old ankle injury flare-up could be caused by muscles that have grown weaker with minimal use.

What are the symptoms of an old ankle injury that needs attention?

  • Pain — If you feel pain, no matter how small, in the area where your old ankle injury originally occurred, this may indicate a flare-up that may require some attention from a medical care provider.
  • Stiffness — Stiffness is another indicator that an ankle injury that occurred years ago may need to be revisited in a health care setting. Even when there is stiffness without pain, your injury, left unchecked, could lead to bigger problems in the future.
  • Reduced range of motion — Reduced range of motion is often caused by stiffness. This lack of mobility is typically a sign that your old injury may need some extra care from a medical provider, like a physical therapist.
  • Pain or discomfort in areas close to the site of the injury — Pain or discomfort in adjacent regions to the old injury can indicate that the injury should be revisited by a medical professional. This may in part be due to unhealed injuries that cause you to compensate in other regions of the body, which can result in pain or discomfort to regions close to your old ankle injury, like the feet or legs.

What can you do about old ankle injuries that flare up?

One of the best things you can do for an old ankle injury that flares up is to schedule a visit with a physical therapist near you. Physical therapists can identify the kind of injury you may have obtained all those years ago and then address where your problem areas lie. If you didn’t get the proper treatment for your old ankle injury and still experience instances of pain and discomfort long after you think your injury has healed, trained medical professionals like physical therapists can build personalized treatment plans to strengthen and support your muscles, tendons, and ligaments. They can give you the tools you need to finally heal your injury and increase your mobility with minimal recurrences of pain or discomfort.

Whether you’re an older adult who is still feeling the effects of an old ankle injury flaring up years down the line, or you’re a younger person who thought your injury healed but you’re still experiencing flare-ups, physical therapy is for you. Therapy can be useful for people of all ages. If you think you may be experiencing pain or discomfort from an older ankle injury, you should reach out to a physical therapist for an appointment today.

Alliance PTP is ready to help you find top-notch PT for your old ankle injury flare-ups

At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we’re proudly bringing together physical therapy practices across the country to help people get the high-quality PT they need. Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that’s close to you and that can help you address your old ankle injury flare-up. 

Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform. 

Contact our team today so we can help you find the most effective physical therapy services for your injury or condition.

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