4 Ways to Treat a Sprained Ankle
Your Personal PT, Rachel Tavel, is a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), so she knows how to get your body back on track when it’s out of line. In this weekly series, she gives you tips on how to feel better, get stronger, and train smarter.
Life is busy, but too much running around can lead to unfortunate missteps (both in life and on the sidewalk).
Rolling an ankle is common. Maybe you didn’t see that pothole in the sidewalk, you stepped off the curb funny, or you had a bad landing after a layup. You’ll often be able to just walk it off, with minor pain that goes away in a few days at worst. But depending on how and what exactly happened, you may find yourself with a sprained ankle.
An ankle sprain is a stretch or tear to any of the ligaments that help support the ankle joint. The ankle joint is formed by the tibia, fibula, and talus bones and is stabilized by multiple muscles and ligaments, including the most commonly sprained anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL) located at the outer (or lateral) portion of the ankle. Unlike the broader deltoid ligament at the inner (medial) part of your ankle, the ATFL is a smaller, narrower ligament that works to help prevent outward rolling. Unfortunately, it can’t always handle the strain and with the right amount of force, it can become injured.
Sprains can come in varying degrees of severity, from the ligaments being stretched to being only partially torn or, in more severe cases, fully torn. How you treat an ankle sprain depends on how severe the sprain is and what your symptoms are. But, in general, you’re going to want to maintain range of motion and strengthen the surrounding musculature to improve ankle stability and mobility so that you don’t spend too much time on the sidelines.
If your pain level is manageable, you’re able to bear weight, and swelling is minimal, try these 4 moves to handle your injury.
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