When it comes to taking care of joints, especially the ankle, ultrasound and ankle and physiotherapy all go hand in hand.

Twisting the ankle inward or outward in a sharp movement that causes the fibrous ligament bands to involuntarily stretch beyond their limit results in a sprained ankle. People suffering with a sprain ankle feel sharp pain, bleeding, see minor to significant swelling in the area, and are unable to put weight pressure on the leg.

The number of ankle sprains treated each year has risen drastically. Unfortunately, they are often under treated. Reoccurring ankle sprains can lead to “unstable” ankle, in which the joint becomes weak, feels loose, and can no longer support the person’s weight. This is why ultrasound and ankle and physiotherapy are words to remember when someone sprains an ankle.

There are different degrees of a sprained ankle. A slight sprain, which comes from a slight turning, or tipping on the foot. Swelling isn’t usually an issue, but the area feels sore and tender. The next is due to a partial tear to the ligaments. This is type of sprain is more common. There is light swelling and bruising with the patient feeling some discomfort when standing, or performing certain motions. The most serious contains a complete tear one or more ligaments resulting in extreme tenderness, bruising and swelling. The patient is unable to stand or move the ankle without significant pain.

Doctors and therapists use ultrasound and ankle and physiotherapy as part of a routine for diagnosing, treating and preventing further problems. A physiotherapist examines the ankle and may order an X-ray to be certain of no broken bones, or other underlying problems. Through physical therapy a patient learns small exercises important to keeping flexibility in the ankle and calf muscles to prevent stiffening and allow time for the ligaments in the ankle to heal properly. Patients are also taught movements and simple toe stretch techniques to aid in mobility while weight remains off the foot for healing.

Ultrasound, or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS), uses a mild electric pulse, which stimulates the inflicted area. This is often combined with heat to stimulate blood circulation to the damaged areas.

Some clinical studies combined ultrasound and ankle and physiotherapy together against using medication and placebos on patients. While some found no, or little change in rate of recovery, other studies found the use of ultrasound and physiotherapy to help significantly.

For more information, ask your physical therapist, or use a search engine, such as Google, with the keywords, “ultrasound and ankle and physiotherapy”.