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Ankle Sprains: Getting Back in the Game

Ankle sprains are the most common of sports injuries seen each year. According to the Journal of Orthopedic Sports Physical Therapy, early onset of physical therapy following ankle sprains dramatically speeds recovery.

If you or an athlete in your family has injured an ankle, a licensed physical therapist can evaluate the ankle to determine the severity of the injury and rule out other damage to the ankle. In some cases, you may be referred to a physician to rule out a fracture or other damage to the ankle. 

When you sprain an ankle, pain is usually felt right away. In some cases, a "pop" may be felt. Symptoms of an ankle sprain include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Unable to put weight on the affected leg
  • Bruising
  • Stiffness
  • Weakness
  • Feeling of instability

Physical therapy for ankle sprains may include modalities to decrease pain and swelling, joint mobilizations, and exercises to improve range of motion, strength, and stability of the ankle. Taping techniques, such as Kinesiotape or Mulligan tape techniques, can be used to restore proper mechanics and reduce pain.

An ankle brace may be recommended to support the ankle. TEAM Physical Therapy has several options available and will properly fit and instruct in the use of the brace for optimal success.

Ankle sprains are likely to recur, especially if not treated. Our physical therapists will ensure that you return to your sport as strong as possible to reduce the likelihood of reinjury. If you have struggled with multiple ankle sprains and never had treatment, physical therapy can still be beneficial to improve the stability of your ankle and reduce your risk of reinjury.

Call your local TEAM Physical Therapy office to get back in the game or to request a free footwear analysis.