New research is suggesting that sprained ankles may have greater long term health consequences than previously thought.

This study from the University of Kentucky carried out a survey of 3500 adults and found that those with previously injured ankles had higher rates of disability, arthritis, heart or respiratory problems.

A “cause and effect” theory has yet to be established but it could be that these patients are less likely to have an active lifestyle because of pain or reduced movement in the ankle joint. This could lead to cardiovascular and respiratory problems associated with more sedentary lifestyles.

Looking forward, the researchers are highlighting the importance of immediate appropriate rehabilitation after an ankle injury - "This is not just a problem for athletes, as a large percentage of the population reports chronic ankle issues……better efforts are needed to prevent the initial injuries, and also to introduce improved interventions post-injury, to reduce the high rate of chronicity we see in ankle injury patients."

Read the full article at Medical Xpress.