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Can Poor Balance Lead To Ankle Sprains?
Ankle sprains are one of the most common sporting injuries and most people have experienced one at least once in their lifetime. While they are common, this doesn’t lessen their negative impacts. Surprisingly, having poor balance might be increasing your risk of ankle sprains.
Here we discuss a few facts about balance and what you can do to reduce your risk of ankle injuries.
Why are ankles particularly vulnerable to injuries related to poor balance?
Our ankles have to support our entire body weight when standing on one foot. To provide us with agility as well as stability, our ankles have the ability to move from side to side as well as back and forwards. There is a complicated process constantly operating to keep your foot in the correct position while supporting all this weight, particularly with quick changes of direction, activities done on tiptoes, jumping and landing.
If the ankle rolls excessively inwards or outwards, the ligaments on the outside of the ankle can be damaged and torn. Balance is an important part of keeping the ankle in the correct alignment and not twisting too far to either side during challenging activities.
A study of high school basketball players by Timothy McGuine et al. in 2010 showed that students with poor balance were up to seven times more likely to sprain their ankle than students with good balance. Other studies have shown that balance training is an effective way of preventing falls in elderly populations.
Balance can vary from one leg to the other.
Most of us tend to favour one side of our body for all activities. This is more obvious in the upper body, with most of us identifying as either left or right handed. The same is also true for our lower body, with each of us favouring one leg over the other for balance activities. This can mean that one leg has better balance and strength than the other, leaving the other leg more vulnerable to injury.
Reduced balance can mean your body has to work harder to perform activities, with muscles activating in a less coordinated way. Improving your balance can also improve your body’s efficiency of movement, which can, in turn, improve your overalls performance without actually improving your muscle strength.
Balance can be trained rapidly
Balance is one of the most overlooked dimensions of physical health however, the good news is that it can be improved relatively quickly. Do a quick check to see if you can stand on each leg for two minutes with your eyes closed. If this is difficult you might find that improving your balance is a great next step in your training program.
Your physiotherapist is able to identify any deficits in your balance is and is able to develop a training program for you to improve your balance. Come and see us for an appointment to see how we can help.
A REGULAR TUNE UP CAN KEEP YOU FEELING GREAT
If you have a chronic or recurring problem such as back or neck pain, niggles when exercising, arthritis or even headaches then a regular ‘Tune-up’ could help.
Most of these problems mentioned respond very well to physio treatment. As a part of this treatment your physio will usually give you self treatment exercises, to help you improve your problem and maintain this improvement.
Unfortunately, spinal problems and arthritic pain can recur and can make your life miserable. If this is the case with you, or someone you know, then regular maintenance treatment are beneficial. Tune-Up sessions will help keep your joints mobile, will release tight muscles and will update your self treatment exercises, so that they are giving you maximum benefit.
Many patients find that a ‘Tune-up’ session on a regular basis can help keep them feeling good and stop them having repeated acute episodes of pain. It is also more cost effective than having extensive treatment to overcome an acute episode of pain. If you feel you would benefit from regular maintenance treatment, please ring or book online to book a time to see one of our physiotherapists.
Training for a fun run or marathon?
Now that the cooler months are here we are starting to see lots of fun runs and marathons pop up on the calendar. If you are currently training for an event here are some tips to help you along the way!
1. Get your running technique right to prevent injury on race day. Running and gait assessments are available at our Pain Slayers Clinic. Our physios can also identify any areas of weakness and potential for injury and develop a strengthening program accordingly.
2. Ensure you have good quality running shoes and socks. See the Podiatry team from QLD Foot Centres for expert advice of feet and shoes. The team from Athletes Foot Indooroopilly are also super helpful and can offer great advice on shoes.
3. Consider ways to relax tight or overworked muscles. Our remedial massage therapist Jeannette offers sports and deep tissue massages and our physios can show you a range of strengthening and stretching exercises.
4. Make sure you have a good warm up and cool down plan to help prevent injuries occurring. Our physiotherapists can assist you with advice regarding getting your body well prepared for the demands of long distance running. We currently offer a fortnightly foot, calf and glute strengthening class specifically for those clients preparing for long distance runs and walks.
5. Finally make sure you enjoy the day!
TIME FOR A MASSAGE?
Jeannette is our Master of Massage!
Our Master of Massage Jeannette will have you floating out the door after a session with her. She can find all of the points in your body that are causing you pain and get to work on them. She will also liaise with your physiotherapist Pain Slayer to ensure that her treatment compliments other treatments that you may be having. Jeanette has qualifications in Remedial Massage, Dry Needling, Myofascial Cupping, Pregnancy massage and Sports massage. Jeanette has worked in the industry for over 10 years.
Massage appointments available online at
Monday 12.30 – 6.30 Tuesday 11.30 – 6.30 Wednesday 8.30 – 1
1 hour $99 / 30min $60 Health fund rebates available