Welcome to the final part of our three-part series on lateral ankle sprains. In part 1, we explored how these injuries occur and in part 2 we discussed initial management protocols. In part 3 of our series on lateral ankle sprains, we will provide you with five essential tips to rehabilitate the ankle under the supervision of our sports therapy specialists at seventy9 Sports Therapy, a leading sports therapy clinic in Guildford.
Part 3: 5 Tips to Rehabilitate a Lateral Ankle Sprain
1. Follow a Structured Rehabilitation Programme
A personalised rehabilitation programme designed by one of our sports therapy professionals at seventy9 Sports Therapy is essential for a successful recovery. At our sports therapy clinic in Guildford we aim to build programmes that improve strength, flexibility/mobility and stability in the ankle, surrounding musculature and the kinetic system as a whole.
2. Range of Movement (ROM) Exercises
Performing gentle active movement exercises can help minimise stiffness and regain ankle mobility and movement function. These can be done soon after injury so long as they occur within a pain free ROM. You can speak to our rehabilitation specialists at seventy9 Sports Therapy in Guildford about the ways to do this specific for your injury status.
3. Strengthening Exercises
Strength exercises for a lateral ankle sprain should focus on the muscles supporting the ankle joint as well as the muscles of the foot. Whilst resistance band exercises can help in the early phase, at our sports therapy clinic in Guildford we aim to start loading in standing as soon as symptoms/function will allow. This also allows us to programme in exercises that put the ankle back into the kinetic system, i.e. including hip and knee movement in the strength programme. At our HQ at Advance Performance in Guildford, we are able to take advantage of strength training apparatus to guide your techniques with these loading movements so that you can get the most out of your rehabilitation programme. You may even want to sign up and start training at Advance Performance once you are back to full health!
4. Proprioception and Balance Training
A focus of any ligament rehabilitation is proprioception (awareness of body/joint position), because of the role ligaments play in feeding back into this mechanism. As soon as possible post lateral ankle sprain, at seventy9 Sports Therapy in Guildford we like to get patients on their feet and stimulating this mechanism. Simple exercises can include standing on one leg, with this becoming more dynamic as healing and functional levels allow.
5. Gradual Return to Play
As your ankle heals and your functional level improves, our programming at seventy9 Sports Therapy in Guildford adapts to gradually reintroduce activities that involve more dynamic weight bearing and loading on the injured ankle. We aim to work together to script what this return to play looks like, with the ultimate goal being that you get back to your pre-injury sport and exercise levels with as minimal risk of re-injury as possible.
Remember that rehabilitation is a gradual process and patience is key. It is essential to work closely with a sports therapy professional – such as our team at seventy9 Sports Therapy in Guildford – who will monitor your progress and adjust your rehabilitation programme as needed.
Lateral ankle sprains can be challenging, but with the right approach to rehabilitation you can regain full strength and function in your ankle and return to pre-injury levels of sport and exercise. Following a structured rehabilitation programme – such as those prescribed by our sports therapy specialists at seventy9 Sports Therapy in Guildford – that focusses on range of movement, strength, proprioception and gradual return to play is key.
If you have experienced a lateral ankle sprain, our sports therapy clinic in Guildford is here to provide expert guidance and support throughout your rehabilitation journey. Why not contact us today to schedule your first appointment at seventy9 Sports Therapy and start your path to a full recovery. We also have an online booking system, why not use it to book an appointment today?