One of the most common injuries experienced is an ankle sprain injury. Usually when the ankle is sprained there is some form of ligamentous strain and may result in instability due to damage to the receptors within the ligaments.
The goals for an acute ankle sprain is to manage the swelling, pain and initial inflammatory response while making sure not to be overly aggressive. This is why the first 4-5 days post-sprain we focus on protecting the injured tissue with relative rest. Also during the initial days once some of the swellings has settled it is VERY IMPORTANT to see a skilled physiotherapist to assess the extent of ligamentous strain and to make an activity specific rehab program. Optimal rehab will decrease time to reach baseline and has shown to reduce the recurrence of ankle sprains by approximately 50%.
The injured tissue needs relative rest. The biggest problem with an ankle sprain is people tend to immobilize it for way too long. Instead, they need to be performing some ankle exercises to help initially with the swelling but in the long term help with the range of movement.
These exercises are performed with putting no or little weight through the injured ankle.
The first one is to maintain ankle dorsiflexion. Placing your weight through your good leg you lean forward to hold yourself against the wall while placing your injured foot on a wedge or towel. Leaning forward will passively bring your ankle into further range.
Next is a seated exercise using a Theraband around the two feet. Heels on the floor place the band around the foot, rotate out using the ankle muscles and not the hip muscles.
An alternative to the last exercise is to move the band to the heel and bring the heel in, essentially performing the same exercise however with a different motion.
The last one shown is using a wobble board – you can use a ball or similar surface to perform this.
If there is anything to take out this video it is to make sure you manage the initial reaction to an ankle sprain correctly. Some rest is necessary but you do need a graduated movement and exercise program to get you back playing the sport or hobbies you want to do. If you know anyone who could use some advice and treatment for their ankle sprains or their bad ankles than come down to see one of us physios at Lakelands and Miami Physiotherapy.
Miami Ph: 9534 4111
Lakelands Ph: 9542 9999