The #1 Reason You Have To Rehab Your Ankle Sprain

An ankle sprain is the #1 most common related sports injury and for good reason. Your feet are what come into contact with the ground and almost all of us have very tight calves and unstable ankles. There are a lot of reasons for this, but basically, too often we wear uncomfortable and unnatural shoes and sit way too much, while stretching and moving far too little. So, when you run, jump, move laterally, etc., it’s very easy to twist an ankle beyond its healthy range of motion and tear ligaments that hold the ankle together.

If you have an ankle sprain (new or old), you already know how much it can impact your life. You will have a lot of swelling, bruising and it will be very difficult to walk. It can take weeks or months to be able to walk and run without any pain. But, up to 1/3 of people still have pain 1 year later and there are studies which show the ankle can stay weak and unstable for life, after just 1 sprained ankle!

And here’s the really scary part… if you change the normal and healthy movement patterns of your ankles and feet, bad things will start to happen. Remember, the ankles and feet are the base of your body and determine how you come into contact with the ground, so if they are messed up, it will start to affect your knees, hips, low back and more.

All of this means that it is very important that you heal your ankle sprain fully. You do not want a lingering weak, unstable and potentially painful ankle that hinders your ability to move naturally and safely. So, let’s take a look at what works and what doesn’t…

Do not ice a sprained ankle

“Ice and complete rest may delay healing instead of helping.”
 Gabe Mirkin, M.D., Creator of R.I.C.E. (rest, ice compression, elevation)

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Do not ice a sprained ankle

“Ice and complete rest may delay healing instead of helping.”
 Gabe Mirkin, M.D., Creator of R.I.C.E. (rest, ice compression, elevation)

watch this

Do not ice a
sprained ankle

“Ice and complete rest may delay healing instead of helping.”
 Gabe Mirkin, M.D., Creator of R.I.C.E. (rest, ice compression, elevation)

watch this

Ice will NOT help your ankle sprain

The #1 reaction people have to an ankle sprain is to ice it. It’s been passed down as the treatment of choice for decades, but as it turns out, ice is actually very harmful to the healing process, according to recent research.

Ice became popular, because it’s cheap, easily available and inhibits the communication between nerves and muscle, which makes the area goes numb. And the numbness is what gives you short term pain relief. So, people quickly began to claim that it must be a great strategy for healing… But, is ice actually healing your injury or just providing a little pain relief for a few minutes? Is it reducing inflammation? Do you even want to reduce inflammation?

As it turns out, studies show that ice stops the body’s natural healing process, and is therefore, NOT a good idea. For example, as it turns out, you DO want inflammation after an injury. Inflammation is step 1 of the body’s process (steps 2 & 3 are the repair of the injured area and finally, the remodel back to full health). But, you need step 1 to be completed first. Inflammation has a purpose… it shuts the injured area down and alerts the body to send in powerful waves of immune cells to clean out the area and then repair it back to health.

Since, ice interferes with inflammation, it can sabotage the entire 3 step healing process of the body. For example, it means your body will NOT be able to send in the proper waves and amounts of immune cells and that can stop or inhibit how well you repair and remodel the ankle.

Studies have also shown that ice stops lymphatic drainage, which is absolutely necessary to remove the waste and debris form your injury. To make it worse, it has been shown that ice can actually REVERSE the flow of waste back into the injured area.

So, we do not believe that the short term benefit of a little pain relief is worth the price of the damage it can cause long term. If you want to read more about this, please see our article: Do NOT ice a sprained ankle

The #1 Reason you need to Rehab an Ankle Sprain

In addition to the dangers of ice, we also want you to be aware of the dangers of rest. After an ankle sprain, of course you have to rest the injury. And you should find out if you have a fracture (you need an x-ray) as soon as possible. If it’s broken, you have to immobilize it until the break heals. But, if it’s just a sprain (even a severe one), you need to start an ankle rehab program as soon as possible.

Studies have shown, very convincingly, that ankle rehab is very powerful and achieves dramatic results. Not only do people heal much better, they also heal much faster. Typical results are pain free walking in about 3-7 days versus weeks or in most cases, months of recovery with the rest and ice protocol.

In addition, people who do a high quality ankle rehab program have improved ankle strength, stability and healthy range of motion, which translates into much better movement, including agility, balance, speed, quickness, etc. Think about it… if you can move without any tightness, pain, instability and inflexibility, you will be able to move much freer and better. In fact, if done right, ankle rehab should get your ankle stronger and more stable than BEFORE you injured it.

Even more important, having healthy, strong ankles protects the other joints above it (knee, hips, low back), because you will be able to move naturally and safely which means the other joints will NOT be put in dangerous positions when you move. It helps your whole body move and perform much better.

Lastly, having strong and stable ankles means that you will be at a much lower risk of re-injury without the need for ankle braces, tape or wraps. You will be able to move naturally and pain free and without the constant worry of spraining those ankles again and again. If you want to read some studies about the benefits of ankle rehab, please check out our article: Lifetime Consequences.

HEM Ankle Rehab

We created HEM Ankle Rehab as a complete ankle healing system that works for any type of ankle injury, including new or old ankle sprains as well as all other types of ankle, foot and calf injuries. We designed HEM to ensure it is safe and easy to do for people of all ages and activity levels.

You can do HEM at home, without any equipment and it only takes a few minutes a day. Just follow along with the easy step by step videos or ebook (you get both) on any device.

If you have an ankle sprain or any other type of new or old ankle injury, please begin a high quality ankle rehab program as soon as possible. It will help you in the short and long term and get back to what you love as soon as possible.

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