Acute Lateral Ankle Sprain

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Lateral ankle sprains occur when you ‘roll over’ your ankle. The ankle is forced into a position that stresses the outside of the ankle joint.

These forces can cause damage to the ligaments and bones. We recommend getting an X-ray if you have a lot of swelling, a deformity, or are unable to put weight through your foot.

If the swelling is not too bad and you can put some weight on your ankle, it is highly likely that you will recover fully. All you need is good advice and exercises.

In the first 7-10 days after an ankle sprain follow the RICE formula to reduce swelling and inflammation:

Rest – avoid painful activities and only do walking that is necessary.
Ice – place an ice pack on your ankle for up to 20 minutes at a time. Do this every 2-3 hours while awake.
Compression – Wrap a compression bandage lightly around your ankle
Elevate – whenever possible elevate your ankle above the level of your heart.

During this time you can do some gentle range of motion exercises. This can help reduce the swelling and prevent your ankle from becoming stiff.

The program in TrackActive Me will start you on these exercises. There are progressions to these exercises to get your ankle strong again. This will help prevent future ankle sprains.

During this time you will need to avoid activities that cause you pain. For example if you play football, we recommend getting your ankle strong and pain-free before you return. In the meantime, make sure you keep active with other exercises and activities that don’t cause you pain. You can also choose from our library of pilates, stretching and upper body strengthening programs. Just select ‘Stay Strong and Healthy’ in the TrackActive Me chat feature.

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