Chronic ankle sprains are a constant presence in training rooms in all sports. The ankle sprain is the most nagging injury an athlete can sustain. Without proper management, the residual effects can limit the athlete for months. There are 3 keys concepts in managing the post rehab ankle sprain. The 3 keys are:
1) Control swelling at all times. Use ice, NSAID’s (prescribed by a MD or DO) and elevation to control the swelling.
2) Strengthen the peroneals using both open and closed chained methods. The peroneals are the primary muscles to strengthen but other muscles in the leg should be strengthened also.
3) Even a series of first degree sprains will cause instability. Refer the client for assessment by a medical professional if instability persists.
Every ankle sprain, regardless of severity, should be seen by a physician, chiropractor or physical therapist. Once the client is past the acute and subacute phases, post rehab exercise may begin. In many situations, the client attempts to manage his ankle sprain on his own and this results in a prolonging of the chronic stage and instability. Exercise management of the ankle sprain is important to the restoration of function. If you remember these 3 keys, you will see significant improvement in your client’s function. Please click the link below to listen to my explanation of these 3 keys.
Post Rehab Challenge
Your client is a 28 year old soccer player with a recent history of a second degree sprain of the left ankle. After 2 weeks of treatment by the team trainer and release by the team physician; the client is now practicing again. He has no pain and very minimal swelling. He is icing his ankle twice per day and wearing a brace during practice. What is the most common type of ankle sprain and which ligament is usually involved? Please outline both open and closed chain exercises you would design for this client to improve his functional capacity.