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ANKLE SPRAINS: REHAB AND RETURN TO ACTIVITY

Updated: Aug 15, 2021

One of the most common injuries you’ll see across a variety of sports is a Lateral Ankle Sprain, also known as a “Rolled Ankle” or “Inversion Sprain”. This is usually caused by a combination of joint instability, lax ligaments and uneven playing surfaces/another players foot etc.


What’s happening is:

You’re running, you go to change direction and as that rapid shift of center of mass over your landing foot, your ankle sort of just keeps going and rolls outward causing the lateral ligaments to stretch and potentially tear... then Ouch!


The most affected ligaments include your Anterior Talofibular Ligament (ATFL), Posterior Talofibular Ligament (PTFL) and Calcaneo-Fibular Ligament. These three bad boys essentially hold the outside of your ankle together. This is commonly diagnosed via the mechanism of injury and if severe enough, the pattern of bruising that develops.


Depending on the severity, it might be a quick “Whoops!” and you can walk it off or if you’re really unlucky it’s a “stick a fork in me, I’m done!” kind of thing. She’s black and blue, painful to walk on and you’re out for a while…


One of the worst things about ankle sprains is that once you do it, the ligaments previous elasticity and resilience rarely returns to its original state. Meaning each time that it happens, that risk increases again and again.

Studies have also shown that your dominant leg is 2.4 times more vulnerable to sprain than your non-dominant leg. UNLESS!! You do something about it…!


Proper ankle injury rehabilitation is dependent on a few things:

1- Your willingness and dedication to better yourself and your body Simply, if you don’t put in the time and effort, you’re kidding yourself if you’re going to be fine. Chucking on an ankle brace or strapping it is essentially a Band-Aid on a bullet wound #realtalk!

2- You’re addressing the correct tissues for treatment Appropriate soft tissue manipulation on correct tissues will not only help your pain decrease, but help you realize what you can do for yourself in terms of self-treatment pre-and-post games/training.

3- You’re doing proper load strengthening, activation and proprioceptive exercises You ain’t gon’ get anywhere without working! It can be tough, but you’ll thank yourself when you notice a change in not only the control you have of your body and joints, but your confidence in your movement!


The movement and rehab world is forever gaining more and more knowledge and challenging new ways to go about rehabilitating injuries. Don’t be scared to ask your Health professional for something new!

Rest isn’t always the only recovery! Resistance and loading is always a great way to start!




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