Recurrent Ankle Sprains: Do I need treatment?
By: Jennifer Cushing PT
The short answer is YES. With each ankle sprain you lose some of the proprioception in your foot and end up with poor balance. Proprioceptors are small receptors that send messages to your brain telling you where your foot is in space. If the messages are not accurate you are more likely to sprain your ankle a second time. Even after a first ankle sprain Physiotherapy is recommended. Early access to physiotherapy can help limit pain and swelling. In addition, it can speed up the recovery time and prevent further injury. With an ankle sprain, you stretch and in some cases tear, one or more of the ligaments that support the ankle joint. In some cases you may also stretch the nerve that is located nearby. If you sustain a nerve injury your recovery time will be slowed.
Sprained ankles should be treated by following the RICE instructions above. Most ankle sprains heal in 3 to 8 weeks but early physiotherapy can speed up that process and get you back to sport sooner. If you have sprained your ankle in the past, you can prevent another sprain by working on balance and proprioception now. Simple things like standing on one leg, standing on one leg with your eyes closed, or standing on one leg and playing catch can improve your balance. If you have recurring ankle sprains, do not hesitate to contact one of our physiotherapists at (905) 849-4576 or at www.sheddonphysio.com for more details.