It is not uncommon to roll your ankle at some point; however, the severity of your ankle sprain can differ drastically. Usually, a minor ankle sprain can take a few weeks to heal but a more serious ankle sprain can linger for years. In addition to pain and swelling, there are an assortment of other impairments that can come along with a sprained ankle including:
· Loss of motion
· Loss of strength
· A feeling of weakness in the ankle
· Decreased balance
· Poor proprioception awareness
· Decreased muscle timing in the hip and knee
· Decreased force output in the hip and ankle
In turn, these deficits can create difficulty with daily activities such as stairs, walking, cutting, pivoting, and running.
Unfortunately, it is estimated that only about 50% of people who sprain their ankles actually receive medical care. And of that 50%, only 6.8-11% receive rehabilitation. Lingering deficits can increase your vulnerability to re-injury as recurrent ankle sprains can occur in up to 73% of the population.
Fortunately, physical therapy can help with an ankle sprain at any point in your injury. In the first 24-48 hours after an ankle sprain, you should:
· Use a cold pack for 10-20 minutes every 2 hours
· Limit painful weight bearing activities
· Use crutches or other walking aids as needed but…
· Stay mobile and walk to your tolerance
· Use an ankle brace or other support
· Follow up with a physician to determine the severity of your injury
If rehabilitation is necessary, as your physical therapist we will perform a thorough evaluation to determine your ROM (range of motion) and strength deficits as well as your functional impairments. You will receive treatment to help reduce swelling and pain; improve your strength and mobility; increase your balance and proprioception; and discover how you can prevent another sprain.
Get the care you need to improve your pain, improve your mobility and with it the quality of your daily life!