When Should I Start Rehabbing My Sprained Ankle?
Immediately after receiving a sprained ankle diagnosis from Frisco podiatrist Dr. Verville, you should begin treating the ankle to stop swelling and discomfort. The first steps you should take are:
- Icing the ankle to control swelling, and if needed, taking anti-inflammatory medications that Dr. Verville prescribes
- Resting and elevating the ankle, so that it can begin the healing process
- Refraining from walking or bearing weight on the affected leg, so that you don’t inadvertently worsen the injury
- Using a medical bandage or brace, which supports the ankle and compresses it to reduce swelling
Many Frisco residents, however, are curious how soon they can get back on their feet and to their regular daily activities. This is especially true for local athletes and dancers. The answer is, there’s really no one-size-fits-all recovery time period for rehabbing an injured ankle. Because sprains are categorized by degrees of the injury, you need to look for milestones that you’ve hit in your recovery journey to begin and to step up rehabbing exercises before you are fully healed from your ankle injury.
Here’s a timeline of milestones you should aim for during your recovery process.
- Begin range of motion exercises as soon as possible
The sooner you can get your sprained ankle back into practicing its normal range of motion, the better. Depending on your grade of sprain, you may need to wait a few days or a week to begin these exercises, but range of motion activities such as “writing” the alphabet with your ankle can make huge strides in getting you on the fast road to recovery. Frisco podiatrist Dr. Verville will let you know how soon you can begin these activities, based on the severity of your ankle injury.
- Start strengthening exercises as soon as swelling and discomfort are reduced
Once the swelling and discomfort are starting to subside, it’s time to begin strengthening exercises to rehab your sprained ankle. Exercises such as using resistance bands, performing toe raises, and doing lunges are great at helping to rebuild the strength you need in your ankle.
- As you recover, begin proprioceptive training
Proprioceptive training refers to your body’s ability to sense the position of a joint – in this case, your ankle joint – without using your sight. Once you are seeing results from your strength training exercises, you should begin proprioceptive training to help prevent future injuries to your sprained ankle.
- Finally, begin sport-specific activities
Once you’re hitting the home stretch of recovery, Frisco sprained ankle patients like yourself can restart sport-specific activities. Just remember, start off slowly and easily. If you were running marathons before you injured your ankle, you’re not going to be able to do 26.2 miles on your first run after rehabbing your injury. Listen to your body as you regain your athletic activities to ensure you don’t inadvertently injure your ankle again.
See Dr. Verville if You Suspect You’ve Sprained Your Ankle
Just because you’re pretty sure you’ve sprained an ankle doesn’t mean you should start the recovery process without getting a professional diagnosis. If you’re pretty sure you’re dealing with a sprain, make sure to see Frisco podiatrist Dr. Verville for a full evaluation so she can diagnose you and give you a customized treatment and rehabilitation plan based on the degree of your sprain.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Verville, call RNV Podiatry at (214) 385-8822.