Ankle sprains account for over 40 percent of all athletic injuries. Basketball and soccer players, as well as runners and cyclists, present the highest risk. Most people who develop this injury are between ages 15 and 19. However, anyone can sprain his ankle by accidentally twisting or turning it in an awkward way.
It is estimated that approximately 25,000 people sprain their ankles every day. Luckily, this type of injury can be successfully treated at home or with the help of a physiotherapist. Proper rest, ice packs, compression, and certain exercises can help you recover quickly and resume your daily activities.
However, ankle sprains are not always easy to treat. Grade II and grade III sprains require a more extensive treatment. Physical therapy can make all the difference. Let’s see how it can help!
Determine the Severity of Injury
This type of injury can range from mild to severe. Depending on how much damage has occurred, ankle sprains can be assessed as grade I, II, or III.
Grade I sprains cause minor pain and swelling. Grade II sprains can lead to muscle and joint stiffness, instability, and pain while walking. In general, they require using crutches for a couple of days. Grade III sprains are the most severe, causing debilitating pain and instability. In this case, the ligament is completely ruptured.
A skilled physical therapist can determine the severity of your condition and develop a treatment plan accordingly. For instance, you have a grade III sprain, ice packs and rest won’t be enough to help you recover. Adequate treatment is a must. That’s why it’s so important to have your injury assessed by a specialist.
Relieve Pain and Swelling
After a careful assessment, your physiotherapist will prescribe the best treatment options to relieve pain and swelling. Depending on your needs, he may recommend sports massage, taping, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, ice, heat, or specific exercises. Furthermore, he will show you how to modify your daily activities to prevent the injury from getting worse.
Improve Your Strength and Balance
Physiotherapy encompasses a wide range of exercises that can help improve your balance and strength. Certain movements will assist with healing at each stage of recovery. Your physical therapist may also recommend using weights, elastic bands, KT tape, foam rollers, cuff weights, and other tools during exercise.
You will learn what movements are safe and which ones can further increase your risk of injury. The physiotherapist can develop a custom exercise plan that can be done at home. It may include calf stretches, towel stretches and curls, balance training, and more.
For best results, it’s recommended to work your calf muscles three to four times per week. You may also need to wear an ankle brace until you’re fully recovered.
These are just a few of the many benefits of physiotherapy for ankle sprains. This treatment method will also improve your flexibility and range of motion, increase your endurance, and restore your agility.
The physiotherapist will help you regain these skills so you can recover faster and perform better at your sport of choice. Additionally, he will teach you how to prevent future injuries and strengthen your calf muscles.
Don’t let ankle sprains keep you from enjoying the sport you love! At Back to Health, we have the skills and expertise to help you return to your previous level of activity and performance. Reach out to us at 888-312-5764 to book an appointment!