Ankle sprains are a very common injury evaluated and treated by Physical Therapists and Athletic Trainers. If you are an athlete, you know that this injury can leave you side lined for weeks, and even months. One of the keys to getting back on your feet quickly is early diagnosis and treatment.
There are many different kinds of ankle sprains:
- Lateral/Inversion--This is the most common and involves ligaments on the outside of your ankle
- Medial/Eversion–This is less common and involves ligaments on the inside of your ankle
- High--This involves the area that seems to be above the ankle joint
There are also different grades, or degrees of severity.
Physical Therapists and Athletic Trainers provide treatment both immediately, and in the following weeks to get you back to your activities and sports. The rehab team will typically progress you from:
- Education on caring for the new injury, and determining if you need crutches
- Referring you for MD evaluation if the PT evaluation indicates there may be damage beyond the sprain
- Knowing when to begin range of motion exercises
- Knowing what kinds of strength and balance exercises to progress to, and when to progress them
- Knowing when to walk and run again, and how to work back into these activities
- Learning how to brace and tape, and what kind of bracing and taping is appropriate for each phase of your return to function.
Depending on the type of sprain and degree of injury, full rehabilitation of an ankle sprain typically takes 10 days – 6 weeks. There are many individual factors that also influence the time frames.
More information on ankle sprains can be found on the American Physical Therapy Association’s web site via this link.
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