Almost everyone knows the RICE method, which stands for rest, ice, compress, and elevate, and has been the standard protocol for decades.
However, this is changing, and research advocates for rehabilitation immediately following a sprain. Ankle sprains loaded from day one have better outcomes and show that the athlete gets back on the field quicker.
- Inversion, the most common ankle sprain, is when your foot rolls inward.
- Eversion, is when the ankle rolls outward and damages the deltoid ligament.
- High Ankle Sprain, damage can occur to the ligaments that connect the tibia and fibula (lower leg bones); these can be the most severe.
- Chronic Ankle Sprains, happen when you repeatedly roll your ankle and experience chronic instability.
Therapy will start immediately for ankle sprains. To the athlete's tolerance, this will include balance training, proper foot activation, loading, and range of motion exercises, and will continue to progress to activities to get the athlete ready for competition.
We will also utilize the following:
- Dry needling promotes healing and gets the inflammation to start moving out of the joint.
- Ankle/Foot adjustments to free up range of motion and get the foot moving correctly.
- Soft Tissue work to reduce excess scar tissue and speed up the healing process.
With this protocol, we successfully treat ankle sprains and get athletes back on the field sooner.
Using a balance board to increase proprioception and balance of the foot and ankle is important in recovery and to prevent further ankle sprains.