Physical Therapy for Ankle Sprains



Sprains may result in swelling and pain on the outside of the ankle near the ankle bone, limited movement, and sometimes inability to bear weight.


“Turning” or “rolling” of the ankle in an accident may over-stretch the ankle ligaments. The severity can vary significantly. A simple Grade 1 may limit activity for one to two weeks while a Grade 3 may hobble you for up to two months. This is the most common injury physicians treat, and it has the highest rate of recurrence. Hence the need to ensure complete rehabilitation.


Treatment begins with simple range of movement exercises and manual therapy to restore ankle joint mobility. Of more importance is the late stage of rehabilitation where exercises retrain the surrounding muscles to protect the ligaments from re-injury. This “proprioceptive” re-training is often overlooked by therapists and physicians, which explains the high rate of recurrence.

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