Ankle Sprain - Phase 2: Tissue Response - Preparing You For Recovery

sprained ankle tape

                   Photo from: Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI)

For the first few days following the Injury, patients often are recommended to Immobilize the ankle joint until the swelling and pain subside. However, the journey towards recovery does not end there. Follow these recommendations to increase your chances of successful recovery.

 

What To Expect?

During the 2nd to 4th day after tissue injury, the inflammation begins to decrease with appropriate treatment, the clot starts resolving, and repair of the injured site begins. This usually lasts an additional 10 to 17 days (14 to 21 days after the onset of injury) but may last up to 6 weeks. Painful and uncomfortable sensation lessens or subside.

Getting You Started Towards Recovery

The goal of this stage is to initiate controlled motion as the acute symptoms subside. It is still recommended to provide continued support to the ankle joint by the use of an Ankle Brace or splint during walking activities. You may also continue to use ice as needed for pain management.

 

Ankle Exercises

Aside from Brace and Icing, Therapeutic Exercises are also Initiated to ensure recovery. These are some of the recommended exercise for Ankle Sprain to be done once a day. These would take you 20-30 mins to accomplish.
 

Non-weight bearing Active Range of Motion into dorsiflexion and plantarflexion, inversion and eversion, toe curls, and writing the alphabet in the air with the affected foot. Do this for 10 repetitions in 3 sets.​

 

Range of Motion Exercise

 

Ankle Dorsiflexion: Position and Procedure
Rest the heel of the injured foot on the floor. Pull your toes and foot toward your body as far as possible -pain free range. Release.

Ankle Dorsiflexion - Position

 

Ankle Plantarflexion: Position and Procedure
Rest the heel of the injured foot on the floor. point them away from the body as far as possible in a-pain free range then release.

Ankle Plantarflexion - Position

 

Ankle Eversion: Position and Procedure
Keep the legs stationary and only turn the foot inward without allowing the hip to adduct and internally rotate.

Ankle Erversion - Position


Ankle Inversion: Position and Procedure
Keep the legs stationary and only turn the foot inward without allowing the hip to adduct and internally rotate.

Ankle Inversion Position

 

Foot Ankle Alphabet
You will gently move the ankle through all of its ranges of motion by writing the alphabet in the air with the affected foot.

Foot Ankle Alphabet

Photo from: Shore foot& Ankle

Ankle-Towel Exercise
Sitting with the heel on the floor and scrunching paper or a towel and picking up marble with the toes

 

Exercise for Neuromuscular Control

Using a rocker board to develop control of ankle motions with the patient sitting. When both feet are on the board, the normal foot can assist the involved side. With only the involved foot on the board, the activity is more difficult. Do this for 10 times 3 sets.

man using a rocker board

Photo from: Therapeutic Exercise: Foundations and Techniques by Carolyn Kisner PT, MS Lynn Allen Colby PT, MS John Borstad PT, PhD

 

Yellow Theraband Ankle Resistance exercise

Press down, pull back. Loop an elasticized band or tubing around the foot, holding it gently taut.. Press your toes away and down. Hold for a few seconds. Do this for 10 times in 3 sets .

Theraband exercise for sprained ankle 

Tie one end of the band to a table or chair leg. Loop the other end around your foot. Slowly pull the foot toward you. Hold for a few seconds. Do this for 10 times in 3 sets.

Therabank Ankle Resistanc Exercise
To resist eversion, place a loop of elastic tubing around both feet and evert one or both feet against the resistance. Keep the knees still and just turn the foot outward, not allowing the thigh and leg to abduct or externally rotate. Do this for 10 times in 3 sets.

Theraband Ankle Resistance Exercise
To resist inversion, tie the elastic band or tubing to a structure on the lateral side of the foot. Again, Keep the legs stationary and only turn the foot inward without allowing the hip to adduct and internally rotated this for 10 times in 3 sets.

Theraband Ankle Resistance Exercise

Flexibility Exercises for the Ankle Region

Initiation and Progression of Stretching Restricted motion during the acute stage and adherence of the developing scar usually cause decreased flexibility in the healing tissue and related structures in the region. To increase mobility and stimulate proper alignment of the developing scar, initiate stretching techniques that are specific to the tissues involved. More than one technique may have to be used to regain the ROM

Increase Dorsiflexion of the Ankle The muscles that restrict dorsiflexion of the ankle are the one-joint soleus and the two-joint gastrocnemius. To effectively stretch the gastrocnemius, the knee must be extended while dorsiflexing the ankle. To isolate stretch to the soleus, the knee must be flexed during dorsiflexion to take tension off the gastrocnemius.

 

Position and Procedure

Long-sitting (knees extended) or with the knees partially flexed. Strongly dorsiflex the feet, attempting to keep the toes relaxed. Do this for 30 Seconds hold times 3 sets

 

man long-sitting

Position and Procedure

Standing on an inclined board with feet pointing upward and heels downward Greater stretch occurs if you lean forward. Because the body weight is on the heels, there is little stretch on the long arches of the feet. Little effort is required to maintain this position for extended periods

girl standing on an inclined board Photo from:Physiotherapy Exercises

 

Learn More About Each of Ankle Sprain's Phases of Recovery and Treatment

 

week 2 to 4

After Full recovery

Disclaimer:

The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only. The indications provided are not a prescription and cannot substitute the recommendation of a health practitioner. We recommend that you seek the advice of your GP, physiotherapist or health practitioner before buying any item on Back To Sport.


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