In response to an aging population, the increased number of unfit and overweight adults, as well as participation in sports activities, physical therapy is becoming more of a necessity in today’s society. Physical therapists develop treatment plans that promote the ability to move, prevent disability, develop fitness, reduce pain, and restore function in both athletic and non-athletic populations. Physical therapists treat several different conditions that include strains, sprains, fractures, neck and back pain, muscle injuries, stroke, burns, amputations, cerebral palsy, and injuries related to lifestyle, occupations, and sports.
The purpose of this project was to examine the anatomical factors associated with two common musculoskeletal injuries, the ankle sprain and the meniscal tear, and to compare the rehabilitation techniques commonly used in the physical therapy setting. Both injuries can be caused by twisting motions of the joint, and both may result in several anatomical and mechanical consequences that affect mobility, strength, and range of motion, ultimately resulting in loss of function. While rehabilitation of both the ankle sprain and the meniscal tear focuses on increasing muscular strength, flexibility, range of motion, and balance, different muscle groups are targeted depending on the injury. In summary, ankle sprains and meniscal tears are common injuries treated by physical therapists. The goal of treatment is to consider the anatomical mechanisms of each type of injury and develop treatment strategies to improve strength and mobility in order to restore normal function.
Laura Dudgeon, ’10 Bettendorf, IA
Majors: Kinesiology, Psychology
Sponsor: Jennifer Fagenbaum