CSA Physio Blog

How to avoid making a habit out of rolling your ankle

Posted on: December 12th, 2018 by Kevin Arkko

How to avoid making a habit out of rolling your ankle

Ankle sprains are one of the most common sports injuries. In fact, in the USA alone about 23,000 ankles get sprained every day, so if you’ve sprained your ankle you are not alone. Immediately after the sprain RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) is a good idea but what do you do after that? The acronym “MEAT” has been suggested:  Movement.  Exercise.  Analgesics.  Treatment.  That’s where physiotherapy comes in.

Strengthening and balance exercises are the basic fundamentals in ankle rehabilitation.  What if your ankle is still hurting after 4 weeks?  You may need to take a more targeted approach.

Unfortunately, ankle sprains are often a recurring injury and as many as 70% of people will re-sprain their ankle or go on to develop chronic symptoms. A recent journal article found that despite improvements in pain, it took at least 6 -12 weeks for ligament healing to occur. Up to one year after injury many people still showed signs of overstretched ligaments and reported feelings of instability in the ankle.

So how can you prevent re-spraining your ankle if the ligaments are still loose up to one year after injury? One approach is neuromuscular retraining, which focuses on improving the strength and coordination of the muscles around the ankle in order to provide greater stability to an ankle with compromised ligaments. With this type of retraining you can worry less about reinjuring your ankle and feel better about getting back to the activities you love.

I’ve worked with many patients who suffer from chronic ankle sprains.  If this describes you, what are you waiting for?  It’s time for neuromuscular retraining!


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