A Physiotherapists Recommendations For Home Care For Ankle Sprains
So, you have sprained your ankle, what do you do now? It is important to get the ankle assessed to determine the severity of the sprain.
Ankle sprains are among the most common sporting injuries. They can vary in severity, but all require appropriate treatment. There is a basic treatment protocol you can follow at home to speed up recovery and restore mobility and function. This will lead to more effective healing and allow you to return to your normal activity level sooner.
For mild ankle sprains:
Initial treatment (0-4 days)
- RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation)
- Immobilisation (CAM walker, Aircast, taping)
- Avoid heat, excessive weight bearing, and any other activities that may put the area under stress
Further treatment (0-2 weeks)
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Mobilisation and massage (To decrease swelling and restore range of motion)
- Range of motion exercises (Spell the alphabet with your foot)
Returning Function: (2-4 weeks)
- Proprioception exercises (balance on pillow, wobble board, mini tramp)
- Strengthening and stretching prominent muscles acting on ankle joint (gastroc/soleus complex, tibialis posterior, peroneus longus/brevis)
If the sprain is classified as moderate or severe, there may be other anatomical structures as well as ligaments that have been injured. This may require further assessment and treatment.
In these circumstances, it is important to seek advice from a health professional to ensure any differential diagnoses have been ruled out and specific treatment plans have been considered.