A broken ankle can bring your daily life to a screeching halt. A fracture in the ankle will prevent you from performing the most basic of tasks, such as walking. Once the fracture heals, a lot of people think they are good to go. However, this is not true. Even if your ankle fracture has healed, you still need physical therapy to ensure your ankle and lower leg are in pristine condition.
When a fracture occurs, the area is generally immobilized, so the body can heal the fracture. This process can take several weeks or months, depending on the severity of the fracture and your body’s healing speed. Once your fracture heals, your ankle will not be as strong or stable as it was prior to the fracture. This is where physical therapy comes in.
How Does Physical Therapy Help?
Physical therapy gets your body in the right condition to function the way it should. Physical therapy is the treatment of orthopedic pain and conditions through methods such as exercise, massage, and other therapies.
When your ankle heals, you will need to rehabilitate it to get it back in good motion. Physical therapy will get you there. Your physical therapist will get to know about your medical history, the newly healed fracture, and your overall health prior to creating a customized physical therapy plan. Your plan will include exercises and therapies designed to make your ankle stronger and more flexible while eliminating pain, weakness, and instability. To accomplish this, your physical therapist may include the following in your physical therapy plan:
Flexibility Exercises Flexibility is key when it comes to good ankle function. You need a good and flexible ankle to run, jump, skip, dance, and more. When you suffer a fracture and cannot use your ankle, the tendons, ligaments, and muscles in the area tighten up. Getting them loose can take time and diligent practice. If you stretch them too quickly, it can lead to injury. Physical therapists can help you gradually increase your flexibility through a variety of exercises. They can do this in a safe manner to ensure you don’t get reinjured.
Strengthening Exercises After a long time of not being able to walk or run, you might notice that your bones won’t have the same weight-bearing ability as before. In other words, your ankle is weaker. Physical therapy will help you regain strength through exercises that build muscle and strengthen ligaments and tendons.
Balance Exercises A weak ankle following a fracture injury can be very unstable. You may find it difficult to stand or walk and may even lose your balance. Physical therapy can help you regain stability in the ankle so that you don’t risk falling over or reinjuring yourself.
Consult with a Physical Therapist
If you have incurred an injury in the ankle and want to get back to superior health, make sure to include physical therapy in your treatment plan. The Podiatry Group of South Texas provides patients with top-notch podiatric healthcare through customized treatment plans. To make an appointment regarding your podiatry needs, call (210) 227-8700. You can also request an appointment online.