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Treatment of a Sprained Ankle

treatment sprained ankle

A good sprained ankle treatment is the most important thing to consider after a sprain.  Most people will tell you to just rest, ice, compress and elevate your ankle until you are able to walk again pain free.  But, most physical therapists now recognize that this is a totally inadequate way to treat a sprained ankle.

In fact, if you were to spend the money and go see a good physical therapist, the first thing they would tell you is that active rehab is absolutely essential for proper healing.  In other words, you have to improve range of motion, strength and stability in the ankle in order for it to get back to 100% health.  And that requires some very specific healing techniques that have been shown to work extremely well.

If you have ever had a sprained ankle in the past, you already know that it’s NOT just about getting back to walking and running pain free… Why?  Well, once you feel pretty good again, you’re going to notice that your ankle is still very stiff, weak and unstable.  Don’t believe me?  If you have an old ankle injury, try balancing on that foot for a little while and see how good you can stabilize on one leg.  So, most people try to cover that weakness up with an ankle brace, but that only makes the ankle WEAKER over time. And that has 3 major detrimental effects:

1) It makes you slower and weaker.

2) It INCREASES your risk of another sprained ankle.

3) It puts other areas of the body at risk for injury.

Let me briefly explain what I mean by #3. If your ankle is still weak and unstable, because you chose a poor treatment option for healing a sprained ankle, then that lack of stability will force another part of the body to try and pick up the slack.  That usually ends up being the knees, hips or low back.  One of the things we see over and over again is a poorly healed ankle sprain leading to a bad knee injury (Derrick Rose).  There is an unending list of examples why you have to take the time to completely heal yourself up before getting back to sports and life to help prevent further injury.

If you cannot stabilize well on one foot, how safe is your ankle and the rest of your body going to be when you move quickly and with power, such as in sports?  Obviously, this is why so many people re-injure their ankles if they are not treated properly in the first place. And this takes us back to active rehab and why it is so important as a treatment for a sprained ankle.

There have been many articles coming out recently, where experts have been supporting this approach.  For example, Tim Wrenholt, PT, DPT, CSCS, a Physical Therapist, recently said that R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, elevation), “have slow healing and limited improvement.”  Instead, Tim suggests that the first step should be to “control inflammation and pain and regain full motion” and then “the focus is to strengthen surrounding muscles, improve balance, and regain a normal gait pattern.”

This is why HEM Ankle Rehab is so important for the treatment of a sprained ankle.  You can pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a Physical Therapist, and in some cases that is a good option.  But, for most people, you can learn some of the best techniques available that you can do by yourself, at home, and get the same excellent results.  It costs a lot less money and you can begin doing the rehab immediately after your injury.  The best part is that you should start seeing and feeling results very quickly.  And, as your ankle heals, you will feel significantly more strength and stability in your ankle, so that moving forward, you won’t be at the same risk for a future sprain.

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