Dodgy ankles? Could laser treatment help?

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Living with ankle instability can have a major impact on people’s lives, with many sporting activities or everyday tasks causing worry about putting the wrong foot forward.

Unstable ankles are one of the most common injuries seen on the sports field – and in the physio clinic.

When the ankle rolls inwards after landing from a jump, side stepping or simply walking on uneven ground – ankle injuries can occur. However, for some people, recovery isn’t so simple and their ankle instability persists.

A team of researchers from the University of Newcastle is looking for adults over 18 years who have a history of repeated ankle strains or ankle instability to receive free physiotherapy treatment to assess the suitability of two different interventions for the management of chronic ankle instability.

One group will receive laser treatment to the ankle, while the other will receive a gentle manipulation of one of the ankle bones. The interventions will be conducted by a registered Physiotherapist.

Participants will be assessed with an x-ray and invited to attend between two and eight intervention sessions over four weeks, along with measurement sessions on three occasions over 12 months.

Along with the treatment the patient will also undergo general tests to assess ankle range of motion, balance tests and pain and pressure thresholds.

The study is being conducted in the School of Health Sciences at the University of Newcastle as part of Mrs Ishanka Rajapaksha Mudiyanselage's PhD studies and is supervised by Professor Darren Rivett, Dr Peter Osmotherly, Mr John Tessier and Associate Professor Suzanne Snodgrass.

To find out more, contact Ishanka Weerasekara on 0424 208 114 or email

* HMRI is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health and the community.

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