Can Physio Help a Sprained Ankle?
A sprained ankle is a common injury that can occur after vigorous physical activity, such as sports, stepping on uneven pavement or accidentally turning your ankle in the wrong way. Ankle sprain generally involves straining the ligament that helps support your ankle joint. An untreated sprain can also affect the surrounding tendons and blood vessels. The chances of reoccurrence of ankle sprain increase with poor rehabilitation. Physiotherapy can help restore and maintain the physical mobility of your ankle. Count on Northgate Physiotherapy, Chiropractic & Massage Therapy Centre for effective physiotherapy in Calgary. We are dedicated to helping our clients with muscle and joint pains. Our highly skilled and registered physiotherapists specialize in the treatment of injuries caused by accidents, sports and other reasons.
Physiotherapy to Manage Ankle Sprain
Treating a sprained ankle immediately can help you avoid the reoccurrence of your injury, including long-term joint pain. Though there is a common misconception that a sprained ankle doesn’t require any treatment, lack of treatment will increase the chance of re-injuring the ankle as well as instability and stiffness. Ankle sprains are categorized into mild, moderate and severe grades based on the degree of tear into slight, partial and full rupture of ligament fibres, respectively. Initial injury symptoms can be controlled by using ice packs and compression that help reduce swelling and inflammation. Make sure to use ice packs with a cloth if you are sensitive to cold. For severe injury, your physiotherapist might refer you for an X-ray to check if the sprain is actually a fracture. Some of the physical therapies that can help with sprained ankles are:
1. Balance Exercises
To strengthen the ankle muscles, your physiotherapist will create a program of exercises that help with the balance. For balancing, you will need to stand on the injured ankle and perform basic exercises as advised. These exercises will depend on the severity of the injury.
2. Manual Therapy
Manual therapy helps reduce muscle spasm, muscle tightness and swelling. The therapy is performed by physiotherapists to reduce pain and inflammation.
3. Stretching Exercises
Your physiotherapists will suggest exercises, including towel and calf stretches, which will strengthen your ankles as well as calf muscles.
4. Inversion and Eversion
Inversion is the act of moving your foot inwards while eversion is moving your foot outwards. After an ankle sprain, there might be limited inversion and eversion, which can be improved by performing simple exercises.
5. Plantar Flexion
In this exercise, your toes are pointing away from you by flexing muscles in the calf, ankle and foot.
The movement of pulling your toes and ankle up towards your face is known as dorsiflexion. You can continue with the simple movement until you feel discomfort.
7. Bracing and Ankle Taping
Your physiotherapist might advise you to brace your ankle to support your muscles before you return to your daily routine. Ankle taping helps stabilize the joint and limits motion.
When Should You Start Physio on a Sprained Ankle?
Physical therapy ensures your ankle heals completely. Simple exercises can be performed within 72 hours after your injury. Make sure you rest the injured area for at least 24 to 48 hours, depending on the injury. You can recline when you rest so that the elevation can reduce swelling. You can start walking by taking the help of crutches if the pain is severe. Other exercises will be continued over several weeks.
Proper treatment from a physiotherapist will prevent any long term problems related to ankle injuries. Northgate Physiotherapy, Chiropractic & Massage Therapy Centre provides physiotherapy to restore your body functionality through massages and exercises. If you are considering physiotherapy, here are some helpful things to know before your first appointment with us. We also offer chiropractic services and alternative therapies, including active release technique, shockwave therapy and decompression.
Contact us today for personalized physiotherapy services.