Question:I've sprained my ankle three times now (same ankle each time). The doctor says I've damaged the proprioception in my ankle. What is that and can I get it back?
You may be referring to something called joint proprioception. Proprioception describes the joint's ability to tell that it is moving, how far and how fast it's moving, and in what direction. This skill allows you to feel when you've stepped on a rock, when you're walking on an incline, or when you've changed directions.
Scientists think the loss of proprioception after ankle sprain puts you at risk for another sprain. Retraining the joint may help prevent further injuries.
Rehab after ankle sprain is usually directed by a physical therapist. A variety of methods are used to retrain the joint. Much of the program can be done at home or at the gym.Arienne de Jong, MSc, et al. Performance in Different Proprioceptive Tests Does Not Correlate in Ankles with Recurrent Sprain. In Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. November 2005. Vol. 86. No. 11. Pp. 2101-2105.
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