Experiencing a sprained ankle can be pretty rough – it hurts, swells, and can seriously hamper your mobility. However, with the right approach and guidance from skilled physical therapists, you can bounce back from your injury faster than you might think.
Ankle sprains usually occur when the ligaments around your ankle get stretched or torn due to sudden twists, falls, or clumsy landings. The severity of sprains can fluctuate, ranging from mild unease to serious injuries that can disrupt your daily routine. Regardless of how bad your ankle sprain is, our team at Mobilize Physical Therapy is here to facilitate a seamless and effective recovery process.
How Physical Therapy Improves Recovery from a Sprained Ankle
Your recovery journey will involve a bespoke treatment plan with your physical therapist, which will be personalized specifically to you.
Many physical therapy clinics will have you largely working with a physical therapy assistant. At Mobilize, we have only doctors of physical therapy on our team, working with you one-on-one instead of being passed on to an assistant.
Here are some of the treatments you and your therapist might engage with on your road to recovery:
- Managing Pain and Swelling: Techniques like ice therapy, compression, and elevation can significantly reduce pain and swelling in your sprained ankle. These methods are excellent for easing discomfort and fostering the ideal conditions for healing.
- Manual Therapy: Our therapists employ hands-on techniques such as joint mobilizations, soft tissue manipulations, and therapeutic massage to restore joint functionality and reduce muscle tension.
- Customized Therapeutic Exercises: Based on your unique needs and goals, your therapist will design a set of exercises for you. At first, we’ll focus on gentle movements to build strength, stability, and flexibility. As your ankle gets better, we’ll gradually introduce tougher exercises to further fortify your ankle and ward off future injuries.
- Balance Training: After spraining your ankle, it’s common to shift your weight to your uninjured leg. Balance training helps offset this reflex and encourages your body to distribute weight evenly, which can help ward off future mishaps.
Potential Risks of Untreated Sprained Ankle Injury
It can be easy to think it’s no big deal and “walk it off”, but choosing not to seek physical therapy after spraining your ankle can lead to several potential risks:
- Chronic Pain and Swelling: Without the correct treatment, your sprained ankle may continue to be painful and swollen for a longer period than necessary. Physical therapists are experts in alleviating these symptoms.
- Incomplete Healing: There’s a risk that your sprained ankle may not heal completely or properly without physical therapy. This can leave your ankle weak, making it more susceptible to future injuries.
- Impaired Mobility: The lack of targeted exercises and treatments that a physical therapist would provide may lead to decreased mobility in your ankle. This can affect your ability to walk, run, or perform other activities that require ankle movement.
- Chronic Instability: Without appropriate rehabilitation, your ankle might become chronically unstable. This means it could give way during normal activities, leading to recurrent sprains or falls.
- Development of Arthritis: Over time, untreated ankle sprains (especially repeated sprains) can lead to the development of post-traumatic arthritis, which can cause persistent pain and stiffness in the ankle.
It’s important to remember that everyone’s situation is different and these risks may not apply to everyone with a sprained ankle. If you’ve sprained your ankle, it’s always a good idea to consult with a sports medicine professional to understand the best treatment options for your individual case.
Why Choose Physical Therapy for Your Sprained Ankle Recovery
Going for physical therapy offers plenty of perks for your sprained ankle recovery process. Here at Mobilize, we employ evidence-based techniques and personalized treatment plans to optimize healing, allowing you to recover faster and return to your regular activities sooner.
Based in Seattle, WA and Mountlake Terrace, WA, we specialize in sports medicine and injury rehabilitation.
Through manual therapies, therapeutic exercises, and collaborative efforts with our therapists, we can alleviate your pain and swelling, providing relief throughout the recovery process.
But we don’t just stop at injury recovery – we also strive to restore your ankle’s full range of motion, strength, and stability to prevent future sprains.
By addressing any imbalances or weaknesses during your treatment, we aim to help you regain optimum functionality so you can confidently get back on your feet and embrace your daily activities.
If you have questions or want to book an initial consult, call us at either of our locations:
Seattle in the Laurelhurst neighborhood – (206) 402-5483
Or our Mountlake Terrace clinic – (425) 582-8845