Recovering from Ankle Strains

A Man Physiotherapist Checking Ankle Sprain of a Lady

One of the most common injuries you can sustain, especially if you play sport, is an ankle sprain. If you’ve sprained your ankle, you’ve stretched or torn one or more of the ligaments on the outer side of your ankle.

If you’ve already had x-rays and seen a doctor, then you’ll probably be able to treat the problem with a functional rehabilitation program. Your sprain will be classified as Grade I, II or III depending on how many ligaments were injured.

Here are some of our tips for recovering from ankle sprains.

Remember Your R.I.C.E. Guidelines

You want to make sure you treat your sprained ankle properly, especially if you lead an active lifestyle. If you have a Grade I sprain, remember your R.I.C.E. guidelines.

  • Rest mostly and only walk on your ankle to cause minimal discomfort. You may need crutches early on to assist your mobility. As long as there isn’t a fracture, you can put some weight on the leg, but keep it light. Wear an ankle brace to control swelling and add stability.
  • Ice your ankle, but don’t put the ice right on your skin. Ice will help you keep the swelling to a minimum, but don’t ice it for more than 20 minutes. Repeat the icing protocol every 2 hours.
  • Compression also helps control swelling and keeps your injured ankle still.
  • Elevate your foot by reclining and propping it up above the waist or heart. Put on a good movie, have a cuppa and enjoy this part.

Grade II sprains will also follow the R.I.C.E. guidelines but will take longer to heal. You may have to wear a splint. If you have a Grade III sprain, you might have permanent ankle stability. Surgery is rarely an option, but if the ankle sprain is severe, you might have to wear a short leg cast for a couple of weeks.

Ankle Sprain Rehabilitation

If you’ve injured a ligament, you need rehabilitation to help the sprain heal and prevent re-injury. The 3 phases of recovery for an ankle sprain are:

  • Phase 1: Rest, protect, reduce swelling.
  • Phase 2: Restore flexibility, range of motion and strength by following a physiotherapist’s exercises and guidelines.
  • Phase 3: Gradually return to normal activity and perform maintenance exercises, followed later by sports like tennis, netball, football, rugby, etc.

Trust Power Physiotherapy to Help You Recover

Power Physiotherapy is here to help your ankle recover. We have rehabilitation programmes tailored to suit your needs and we can help you heal and return to normal activity.

Once you can stand on your ankle again, we’ll prescribe a range of exercise routines. They will strengthen your muscles and increase flexibility, balance and coordination. It is important to enlist the help of a physio and complete your rehabilitation program so that you don’t hurt the same ankle again.

CTA: Contact Power Physiotherapy in Perth for expert programs and help for recovering from ankle strains.