ABOUT ANKLE SPAINS
Ankle sprains are common injuries that occur when the foot twists or turns beyond its normal range of movement, causing the ligaments of the ankle to overstretch or tear. Recurrent ankle sprains are common; once an ankle ligament is sprained, it is often reinjured. In fact, 73% of people who have sprained an ankle once are likely to do so again. Reinjury is especially likely if muscle strength and balance are not fully restored to, or improved beyond, preinjury levels.
After most sprains, you feel pain right away at the site of the ligament stretch or tear. Often, the ankle starts to swell immediately and may bruise. The ankle area usually is tender to the touch, and when you move the ankle, it hurts. In more severe sprains, you may hear or feel something tear, along with a "pop" or "snap."
At Renew Physical Therapy, we help people who have experienced ankle sprains reduce their pain; regain their strength, motion, and balance; return to normal activity levels; and avoid reinjury. We help people with ankle sprains recover more quickly than they would without treatment. The time it takes to heal an ankle sprain varies, but results can often be achieved in 2 to 8 weeks. Our programs will help:
Reduce Pain and Swelling. You will learn how to avoid or modify your daily and sports activities to allow healing to begin. We may use different types of treatments and technologies to control and reduce your pain and swelling, including ice, heat, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, taping, specific exercises, and hands-on therapy, such as specialized massage.
Improve Motion. We will choose specific activities and treatments to help restore normal movement in the ankle. These might begin with "passive" motions that the physical therapist performs for you to gently move your ankle and foot, and progress to “active” exercises and stretches that you do yourself.
Improve Flexibility. We will determine if any foot, ankle, or lower leg muscles are tight, begin to stretch them, and teach you how to stretch them.
Improve Strength. Ankle sprains may be related to weak, injured, or uncoordinated leg muscles. Certain exercises will aid healing at each stage of recovery; we will choose and teach you the correct exercises and equipment to use, to steadily and safely restore your strength. These may include using cuff weights, stretch bands, and weight-lifting equipment.
Improve Endurance. Regaining your muscular endurance in the ankle and leg is important after an injury. We will teach you exercises to improve endurance, so you can return to your normal activities. Cardio-exercise equipment may be used, such as treadmills or stationary bicycles.
Improve Balance. Regaining your sense of balance is important after an injury. We will teach you exercises to improve your balance ability.
Restore Agility. Speed and accuracy of leg movement is important in athletics and in many daily activities. We will help you regain these skills in preparation for a return to sports and to your daily routine.
Learn a Home Program. We will teach you strengthening and stretching exercises to perform at home. These exercises will be specific for your needs; if you do them as prescribed by your physical therapist, you can speed your recovery.
Return to Activities. We will discuss activity goals with you and use them to set your work, sport, and home-life recovery goals. Your treatment program will help you reach your goals in the safest, fastest, and most effective way possible. Your physical therapist will teach you exercises, work retraining activities, and sport-specific techniques and drills to help you achieve your goals.
Speed Recovery Time. We are trained and experienced in choosing the best treatments and exercises to help you safely heal, return to your normal lifestyle, and reach your goals faster than you are likely to do on your own.