How to Protect an Old Ankle Sprain from Re-Injury
A sprained ankle can result from any kind of physical activity that makes the ankle turn or twist, leading to a stretched or a torn ligament. Sprained ankles can be categorized in one of three grades: grade 1 is a mild sprain, grade 2 is a mild to moderate sprain, and grade 3 is a moderate to a severe sprain. Recovery times will vary depending on the grade, with grade 1 sprains taking between one to three days to heal and grades 2 and 3 taking as long as several weeks to heal. So, keep reading to learn about how to take care of an old ankle sprain.
Protect Yourself from a New Injury
In the United States, around 23,000 people are treated daily for sprained ankles. It is among the most common sports injuries with a reoccurrence of sprains being very common as well. Statistically, people will re-injure their ankles within the first year of the original sprain.
Studies have found that new injuries to an old ankle sprain can result in chronic pain, being of a more intense nature in some instances than the pain of the original sprain. Additionally, new injuries, or old injuries that did not heal well, can lead to disabilities in the long term.
So, doctors suggest these exercises to strengthen muscles and to help avoid sprains or re-injury of an old ankle sprain.
- Toe Raises: With a straight knee, pull toes backward and hold the position for 15 seconds. Repeat the exercise ten times.
- Heel Raises: With a straight knee, point the toes forward and hold for 15 seconds. Repeat ten times.
- Alphabet in the Air: Trace the letters of the alphabet using the big toe like the point on a pencil. “Write” the alphabet at least twice a day, more if comfortably tolerated.
- Air Circles: Keeping the knee straight, use the ankle to create circles in the air. This exercise can also vary to include moving the foot from side to side or up and down. This exercise should be done three times daily with up to 10 circles moving clockwise and counterclockwise.
- Balancing: Using a chair on the uninjured side, place the injured foot/ankle on the floor and stand for 30 seconds. Start with one 30 second session a day and work up to three minutes per session and three sessions daily.
When to Consult a Physician
After an injury, it is important to see a doctor for consultation and treatment. Pain, especially in the ankle, can become a reoccurring issue that hinders flexibility and mobility over a period of time if not treated immediately.
With emergency services at three locations including one in Southfield, Michigan Podiatry will provide aid immediately and conveniently. Contact Michigan Podiatry for a consultation or exam of your old ankle sprain today.