Ankle sprains are the most common sports injuries. In physical therapy we help people recover from this often. If you are dealing with an ankle sprain sports injury you know the pain it can cause! So what can you do to take care of the ankle sprain right when it happens?
What to do with an ankle sprain?
How we handle an ankle sprain in the hours immediately following the injury is very important. There are some things we can do which will either prolong the recovery process, or help it speed along. If you need help getting back in the game after an ankle injury, physical therapy can help you meet your goals.
Here’s a video I created to teach you how to care for your ankle sprain immediately after an injury.
PHYSICAL THERAPY for ankle sprains
So what do you we do in physical therapy for ankle sprains? In our clinic in Huntington Beach, we help active patients all the time get back to doing what they love. There is a process called the Recovery Roadmap, which we guide patients through. Each phase of your recovery requires a different focus.
Phases of recovery for ankle sprains
- Calming Phase: Focus on reducing inflammation and calming the area down
- Mobility Phase: Focus on restoring normal motion in the ankle. We focus not only the ankle motion, but also restoring normal functional mobility patterns. These include patterns like lunges and squats. These are foundational movement patterns which you will need to have in order to return to your activity. The focus on this phase incorporates a heavy focus on stability in the ankle and something called proprioception.
- Strengthening Phase: Focus on strengthening the good movement patterns we have established. In this phase the focus shifts to loading the ankle, changing direction, explosive movements and more.
- Return to Play: Focus on a gradual return to play after your ankle sprain. This involves simulated sport specific exercises, as well as guidance on how to get back into your competition in the best manner.
Need help getting back to your sport after an ankle sprain? We are here to help!