Ankle Sprains: Physical Therapy Gets You Back on Your Feet

Aug 09, 2013

We've probably all sprained our ankle at least once in our lives. The truth is about 7 in every 1000 active people will sprain their ankle this year. Most commonly people say they "rolled" their ankle, but what really happens is classified as a sprain. What happens when we roll our ankle is the ligaments that support our ankle get quickly overstretched, resulting in a sprain of those ligaments. There are different levels of sprains ranging from a slight overstretch to a complete tear. Most commonly is what we refer to as a Grade I or Grade II sprain where the ligament is stretched or possibly endures small tears that will eventually heal.

So hopefully you enjoyed that little anatomy lesson. But you sprained your ankle, so now what do you do? Well, if you said, "Go see my Physical Therapist" then you're off to a great start! A combination of manual physical therapy and exercise is the best thing to get you back on your feet and performing the activities you enjoy. But don't just take my word for it, the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy (JOSPT) thinks so too. In a recent article published in July of 2013, they concluded that manual physical therapy combined with exercise is superior to simply performing exercises at home, or even worse, just waiting for it to get better on its own.

Manual physical therapy means hands on physical therapy where your physical therapist uses his or her hands to mobilize your joint, stretch tissue, and better align the ankle joint to perform better. By including manual physical therapy for sprained ankle rehab, you'll see quicker, better results.

Ankle sprains are incredibly common occurrences and can happen to anyone from the elite athlete to an average person walking in the grocery store. The good news is you don't need to let it get you down. Your local physical therapist is an expert in musculoskeletal rehabilitation and knows exactly what your ankle needs to heal the tissue, improve mobility in the joint, and increase the muscle strength to prevent another future ankle sprain.

If you or someone you know is living with nagging ankle problems from a past or current sprain, come make an appointment with us today. Don't wait, get better now!

Article and joint mobilization image: Cleland JA, Mintken P, McDevitt A, Bieniek M, Carpenter K, Kulp K, Whitman JM. Manual Physical Therapy and Exercise Versus Supervised Home Exercise in the Management of Patients With Inversion Ankle Sprain: A Multicenter Randomized Clinical Trial. JOSPT. 2013;43(7):443-456.
Ankle ligaments image from:
Inversion sprain image from: