Sprained Ankle, now what??
Updated: Apr 26
Acute lateral ankle sprains are the most common foot/ankle injury with athletes experiencing them 0.93 injuries per 1000 sporting participations.
The old ways of ice and complete rest/immobilisation have not lived up to expectations and failed scientific scrutiny. So what is the right way to treat a sprained ankle?
Once you have been assessed and diagnosed by a medical professional with a grade 1 or 2 lateral ankle sprain, early weightbearing and mobilisation exercises as tolerated can be used to speed the recovery up and provide superior results.
Grade 3 soft tissue injuries to the lateral ankle may require a small period of rest (1-2 weeks) before starting weight-bearing and exercises. Inflammation and swelling is very common and normal, this is the bodies process of healing.
Regular use of anti-inflammatories is not recommended and may slow down the healing process, also icing has not been proven to help swelling or recovery times either. If swelling becomes excessive or uncomfortable compression, elevation and muscle pumps may help control swelling.
After the initial injury phase (1-3 weeks) basic strengthening exercises may be added and progressed to include balance and proprioceptive exercises. Working out the non-symptomatic side as well as muscles further up the leg may also transfer some benefit for recovery time and return to exercise.
Return to exercise usually occurs between 1-6 weeks for grade 1-2 injuries and 12-16 weeks for grade 3 injuries. Continued rehab will help reduce lingering symptoms and the likelihood of re-injuring the soft tissues.
If you are experiencing an ankle injury, or other sport related injury please don’t hesitate to contact the clinic to book an appointment online, or over the phone with one of our specially trained physiotherapists or podiatrists in Kew or Oakleigh. You can book an appointment online with one of our podiatrists or physiotherapist at www.alignhc.com.au or call us on (03) 9853 7836.