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LATERAL ANKLE SPRAIN

Ankle sprains are rated in severity on a scale of 1 to 3 ( rehabanklesprain.com, 2012 )
HELPFUL TIPS…

 

In the first 48 hours, ice for around 20 minutes every couple of hours to help with pain and swelling.

Remember to use a barrier between your skin and the ice to protect your skin from ice burn e.g. wet towel.

Make an appointment with your physiotherapist to assess the severity of the ankle sprain, and to start your rehabilitation.

REHABILITATION FOLLOWING ANKLE SPRAIN

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How soon can I exercise or return to play?

This depends on the severity of the sprain.

Cycling, swimming or even running may be okay to return to right away, if they don't cause pain during or after exercise.

Your ankle needs to be 100% before you return to a sport that involves a lot of twisting and changing of direction. The ankle sustains multi-directional forces during this type of activity so you may need to have it taped up for support and protection.

Consult with a physiotherapist to diagnose the severity of the sprain, and to ensure that you return to sport within a safe timescale.

What can I do to help rehabilitate my ankle?

After the initial pain and swelling as decreased, your physiotherapist may start you on a rehabilitation programme.

Strengthening

Theraband: Sitting, loop a theraband (resistance band) around
the ball of your injured foot.

Stand on the theraband with the other foot so that it is taut.

Now pull up and away leading with the little toe so you meet the resistance of the band. Do ___ sets of ___ repetitions.

Calf raises: Standing with feet hip-width apart, rise up slowly
(concentric) onto the balls of your feet, ensuring your ankles are in line, and lower slowly (eccentric). Do ___ sets of ___ repetitions.
Progress to calf-raises on your affected leg only.

None of these exercises should cause any pain, stiffness or swelling.

If so, please consult with your physiotherapist.

Balance

Star Balance Exercise: Stand on your affected leg (stance leg), and while keeping your other leg
straight, point your toe and tap out a 4 point pattern in front, to the side and behind you. To progress this, try bending the knee of your stance leg, or try and cross your ‘mid-line’ with your tapping foot, in front, and behind you.

Single leg standing: Start by standing on one leg with your arms
across your chest and your other knee bent. If you can balance for more than 30 seconds, increase the challenge by trying to do it with your eyes closed. You can also try balancing on your toes (a more unstable ankle position), on a cushion or wobble board to make it more difficult.

● Bosu ball / Lever board balance:
Bosu balance can be challenging. Start with the Bosu up-turned so you are standing on the flat surface. Start with both feet on the Bosu. Make sure you are near a rail or a wall so if you feel unbalanced you have something to steady
yourself. Progress to one-leg standing. Try balancing on one leg at a time, working up to 20 secs without having to hold on, or put your other foot down.

The Bosu can be turned back the other way so you are trying to balance on the cushion. Again start with both feet on the Bosu, progressing to one leg stands.

None of these exercises should cause any pain, stiffness or swelling.
If so, please consult with your physiotherapist.

Plyometric

Hop and balance: Stand with your feet hip width apart. Jump up and land on both feet; progress
to single leg. Balance for 3 seconds and repeat on the other leg. Be careful to keep your knee in line with your 2nd toe. Repeat ___ times per leg.

Multi-directional: When you’ve warmed up, take a few minutes to incorporate some other
exercises; running in the shape of a figure of 8, taking large bounding steps on the toes, and also side cross-over steps (stepping one foot forwards and then backwards). These exercises get the ankle warmed up in multidirectional movements.

None of these exercises should cause any pain, stiffness or swelling.
If so, please consult with your physiotherapist.

Chronic swelling reduction

Rock walking, + stationary bike: These exercises make the large leg
muscles work hard, which assists in improving circulation, and therefore reduces swelling.

Stretching

Calf stretch: Stand facing a wall and stretch your foot out from under
you, keeping your knee straight and your heel on the floor. You should feel the stretch to the back of the calf – this is a Gastrocnemius stretch. Hold for 30 seconds.

Now bend the knee and sit down
into the stretch, keeping the heel on the floor - this is a Soleus stretch. Hold for 30 seconds.

Japanese sitting: Sit back on your heels, feeling a stretch along the
shin and front of the ankle. Hold for 30 seconds.

None of these exercises should cause any pain, stiffness or swelling.
If so, please consult with your physiotherapist.

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