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Ankle, Health

The Ultimate Sprained Ankle Rehab: Heal Fast and Strong

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Treating a sprained ankle the RIGHT way early on, means a stronger ankle, faster recovery and less chance of re-injury. In this series, I will tell you what a sprained ankle involves, the most effective self-treatment and the best rehab exercises to get you back out there!

This post will take you through early, middle and late stage rehab exercises as well as self treatment advice for a lateral ankle sprain so that you can get on with life. Alternatively, you can skip the hassle and get all the extras in one document by downloading our comprehensive Sprained Ankle Recovery Guide


Stage 1: Acute Ankle Sprain, the First 72 Hours

First of all, a little information about what a sprained ankle involves, but if you are in the know about Sprains already, skip the info and scroll down to Self-Treatment.

Sprained ankles are known by a few different names:

  • Twisted ankle
  • Rolled ankle
  • Lateral ankle sprain
  • Inversion ankle sprain
  • Torn lateral ankle ligament

The most common type of sprained ankle is the lateral ankle sprain (85%), and that is what we are going to discuss and sort out today. The other 15% is made up of high ankle sprains and medial ankle sprains and the advice below is quite effective for those injuries also.

As with everything on this website, the rehab regimen does not claim to replace or be better than the best practice of going and seeing a doctor or physical therapist.

Mechanism of injury:

The plain and simple is that a sprained ankle is typically when your foot is forced inwards (inversion) and down at the same time.

This often happens when changing direction, turning and/or on uneven surfaces). This puts the ligaments under too much stress too fast which causes a tear of one or more of your ankle ligaments.

sprained ankle - lateral ligaments

Quick anatomy:

The lateral (outer) ankle has 3 ligaments supporting, with the weakest of these (and so most often injured) being the Anterior Talofibular Ligament (ATFL).

The ATFL is the Ligament at the front of the ankle shown here and in most simple sprains, this is the one torn with or without the ligament below it.

Sprained ankle recovery time:

The general recovery time is 2-6 weeks (if looked after properly). Keep in mind, even if it feels bad now if you do all the right things you will be one of the 95% who returns to sport and activity within 6 weeks.

Not taking ankle rehab seriously often leads to far too many chronic ankles, long-term disability and other injuries so YOU NEED TO TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY!

Note: it is important to rule out fractures early on. An accurate way of doing this is using the Ottawa ankle rules, or going to see your local Physio for a quick assessment – These rules are great for minimizing unnecessary X-rays. If clear of fracture, conservative rehab is typically the way to go – surgery is rarely needed or the first port of call (1).

YouTube player

Sprained Ankle Self-Treatment

Initial management: In the first 72 hours it is very important to follow the RICE and HARM principles – This will take weeks off your recovery.

Summary:

  • Do POLICE
  • Don’t HARM
  • Protect
  • Keep Moving
  • Foot Paddling
  • Footwear

1. Do: POLICE

This has changed from the previous RICE recommendation, see more on this HERE.

POLICE acute ankle sprain treatment heal fast

Note: Don’t wear compression at night time

2. Don’t: HARM

  • Heat
  • Alcohol
  • Running
  • Massage

HARM increases blood flow to the area, worsening inflammation and so causing more secondary damage and a longer healing time.

3. Protect:

Braces have been proven to reduce re-injury rate and improve recovery so check out your options here. Using a functional ankle brace at all times during the day is now a go-to treatment for sprained ankles for the first 6 weeks and then up to a year after injury as needed.

You can see an update on the Clinical Best Practice Guidelines from the British Journal of Sports Medicine HERE if you want more detail on that. Basically, Lace-up ankle braces are a brilliant way to protect the ligaments and reduce re-injury rate and preferred over moon boots or nothing.

4. Keep moving (within reason of course)

It is important not to baby sprained ankles and start weight-bearing through them as soon as possible. This helps to normalize movement and decrease the loss of muscle activity.

If necessary you may need to be on crutches for the first 24-72 hours then move to partial weight-bearing and then full weight-bearing.

5. Foot paddling

This is a great exercise to do in these early days – In sitting or lying, simply point your toes up then down repeatedly in a pain-free range.

You can try doing small circles with your foot also, remember not to push into pain. Do this every 1-2 hours (little and often)

6. Footwear:

Wearing good supportive footwear with heel and arch support(such as your runners) is great as this takes the pressure off the injured ligaments and lets them heal well.

DO NOT WEAR HIGH HEELS (Please!).

Now that you have taken care of your sprained ankle in the first 48-72 hours by doing everything mentioned above. Let’s start on the next stage below.

You can download our comprehensive Sprained Ankle Recovery Guide, with all of this great information.


Stage 2: Early Rehab and Sprained Ankle Treatment

sprain strain self treatment ice rest compress

How to get a sprained ankle stronger, recover quicker and get back out there faster and better than ever!

Note: You still use ice after the first few days whenever it is sore or swollen.

Following on from the stage 1 rehab (above) about what to do in the first 72 hours, here we will cover a comprehensive rehab regime that will help the majority of you recover from an ankle sprain in weeks, not months.

Your body adapts to the forces that go through it. Progressively load your ankle, it will adapt and be better for it!

Sprained ankle treatment needs to include:

  • Proprioception exercises
  • Range of motion exercises
  • Strengthening exercises

1. Proprioception Exercises: Retraining for a sprained ankle

Proprioception is the ability for you brain to know where you body is in space.

If this is decreased, you have poor balance and increased chance of re-injury. Sprained ankles are the worst injury in the body for impaired proprioception and needs to be addressed.

Note: If you aren’t sure what proprioception is – extend one arm out to the side, close your eyes and mirror it exactly with the other arm – you could do this with your eyes closed because of your proprioception.

sprained ankle rehab exercises

Single leg standing (SLS):

Begin by standing on one leg on a solid surface (you can put one finger on the wall for balance if you need to start with) and aim for 1 minute.

When you can do this comfortably for 60 seconds, step it up by performing SLS on a folded up towel.

A Folded towel is great to use as you can easy progress this by doubling it up again and again and then finally rolling it up to make it much harder.

Progressing each time when you can easily do it for 60 seconds.

NOTE: Have a bench in front or to the side to grab onto if need be – but only if you have to!

You can also use Wobble boards, Bosu balls and balance boards when towels become too easy (or boring!)

2. Range of motion Exercises

calf stretch , soleus, gastroc - self treatment for shin splints

Calf Stretch

The best way to do this is by dropping your heel of a step and holding for 1 minute as shown in the picture to the right. Make sure this stretch is within the pain-free range.

Lunge Stretches and accessory glides

See this video for great mobilization techniques. Remember not to push into too much pain!

3. Strengthening Exercises

Heel Raises

Begin using both feet and progress to one foot as pain and strength allows. Perform 30 with one finger against a wall for balance. Also known as Calf Raises.

Single leg Squat, hip stability and strength

Single Leg Squat/Pistol Squats

As soon as you can, begin doing these to maintain and increase the strength in your entire lower limb! do 2 x 12 on each side and begin by only bending a small distance – Give it a go!

Ankle Eversion Training

See this video on how to do this important exercise with a Theraband or similar elastic band.

Stick to this Rehab program for the full 6 weeks for best results and make sure to keep challenging and progressing yourself!


Stage 3: End Stage rehab – “Bulletproofing” after an Ankle Sprain

Research-based and very easy, with great results

You can also head over to our rehab guides page to get all three levels and much, much more in an eBook!

Anmle excursion exercise, balance rehab

These are the rehab exercises that you need to get your ankle 100% and to minimize chance of re-injury which is far too common.

This ankle sprain rehab is aimed at improving range, balance and strength with simple, effective home exercises.

Too many people simply sprain re-injure their ankle is the full rehab isn’t followed through with and actually 33% still have pain remaining after one year!.

On top of this, a history of ankle sprain ( you have injured it before) is the single most predisposing factor for ankle injury.(2,4)

Our bodies are great at healing by themselves but if you don’t push your ankle to regain strength and range – you leave yourself at high risk of re-injury

This means after you have an ankle sprain it is very important to rehab it right as you have a high chance of ongoing symptoms and re-injury. Remember, the research shows that the majority of grades I, II and III lateral ankle ligament ruptures can be managed without surgery – so get started as soon as possible for best results.(3)

First, Some Quick Tests:

Here is a great little test to see if your ankle range is back to it’s best. The other easy test to see if you need to do the level three exercises is to balance on the balls of your foot, one leg at a time – you should be able to do this for at least 30 seconds and you should be even between legs.

Stage 3 ankle sprain rehab has 3 main goals:

  • Achieve full range of motion
  • Have good ankle  and leg control through this range
  • Full strength of the ankle stabilizers

To get there, here are the exercises that you need to do:

Toe balance

ankle sprain balance exercise

This is a great balance exercise to strengthen your ankle in this vulnerable position and better yet, it is simple and you can do it anywhere.

Stand on the ball of your foot. You will most likely need to start with one finger on the wall for balance.

Goal: 1 minute each side

Make it harder: Do some one leg standing and toe balance on one of my favorite rehab equipment: a BOSU Ball

X excursion exercise – Balance re-training

This exercise has come about from a well-used test within the health industry – the Star Excursion Balance Test. The great thing about the tests we use as physiotherapists is that they really do challenge you, which make them great as exercises also as if your body is challenged, it is going to adapt to improve.

YouTube player

Ankle stretch

Ankle stretch exercise

Along with the classic calf stretch, this one is great for getting full range in your ankle and making sure you are even. This only needs to be done if you can’t point your foot down evenly after 6 weeks – you don’t need to do it earlier.

Hold for one minute.

Ankle self-mobilization

YouTube player


In Conclusion

Putting in the time to rehab your ankle fully is so important, not only will it decrease or get rid of any pain but it will improve your mobility and performance. Even just working on retraining your balance decreases your chance of re-injury by 22-33% – nothing to scoff at right!(5)

So write the exercises down, favorite this post and make it a routine.

Return to Sport:

As a simple rule, once both sides are even, you can get back to training and playing. So to test yourself out, see how far you can single leg jump and make sure both legs are within 5cm of each other and then do the X-excursion exercise as above and again, make sure both sides are within 5cm of each other. If they aren’t even, keep working at it.

Also if you are returning to sports such as basketball or volleyball etc that require a lot of jumping, twisting and hopping, or if you have sprained your ankle more than once, it is definitely worth your while looking into getting a good lace-up Ankle Brace.

Yours in health,

Shaun


Ankle, foot pain, Health, Lower limb

Sprained Ankle – Heal Fast and Strong with Self Treatment

• By

Treating a sprained ankle the RIGHT way early on means a stronger ankle, faster recovery and less chance of re-injury. In this series, I will tell you what a sprained ankle involves, the most effective self-treatment and the best rehab exercises to get you back out there!

This post is Level 1 but when you need to step it up after the first 48-72 hours, switch over to the Level 2 and Level 3 rehab exercises. Alternatively, you can skip the hassle and download our comprehensive Sprained Ankle Recovery Guide

First of all, a little information about what a sprained ankle involves, but if you are in the know about Sprains already, skip the info and scroll down to Self – Treatment

Sprained ankles are known by a few different names:

  • Twisted ankle
  • Rolled ankle
  • Lateral ankle sprain
  • Inversion ankle sprain
  • And of course “Oh no!”

The most common type of sprained ankle is the lateral ankle sprain (85%), and that is what we are going to discuss and sort out today.

Mechanism of injury: The plain and simple is that a sprained ankle is typically when your foot is forced inwards (inversion) and down at the same time. This often happens when changing direction, turning and/or on uneven surfaces). This puts the ligaments under too much stress too fast which causes a tear of one or more of your ankle ligaments.

sprained ankle - lateral ligaments

 

Quick anatomy: The lateral (outer) ankle has 3 ligaments supporting, with the weakest of these (and so most often injured) being the ATFL. The ATFL is the Ligament at the front of the ankle shown here and in most simple sprains, this is the one torn with or without the ligament below it.

 

Sprained ankle recovery time: The general recovery time is 2-6 weeks (if looked after properly). Keep in mind, even if it feels bad now if you do all the right things you will be one of the 95% who returns to sport and activity within 6 weeks.

 

Not taking ankle rehab seriously often leads to far too many chronic ankles, long-term disability and other injuries so YOU NEED TO TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY!

Note: it is important to rule out fractures early on. An accurate way of doing this is using the Ottawa ankle rules, or going to see your local Physio for a quick assessment – These rules are great for minimizing unnecessary X-rays.

 

Sprained Ankle Self – treatment

Initial management: In the first 72 hours it is very important to follow the RICE and HARM principles – This

will take weeks off your recovery.

Do: POLICE

This has changed from the previous RICE recommendation, see more on this HERE.

POLICE acute ankle sprain treatment heal fast

Note: Don’t wear compression at night time

Don’t: HARM

  • Heat
  • Alcohol
  • Running
  • Massage

HARM increases blood flow to the area, worsening inflammation and so causing more secondary damage and a longer healing time.

Protect: Braces have been proven to reduce re-injury rate and improve recovery so check out your options here

Keep moving (within reason of course) – It is important not to baby sprained ankles and start weight-bearing through them as soon as possible. This helps to normalize movement and decrease the loss of muscle activity. If necessary you may need to be on crutches for the first 24-72 hours then move to partial weight-bearing and then full weight-bearing.

Foot paddling is a great exercise to do in these early days – In sitting or lying, simply point your toes up then down repeatedly in a pain-free range. You can try doing small circles with your foot also, remember not to push into pain. Do this every 1-2 hours (little and often)

Footwear: Wearing good supportive footwear with heel and arch support(such as your runners) is great as this takes the pressure off the injured ligaments and lets them heal well. DO NOT WEAR HIGH HEELS (Please!).

AND THEN: After the first 48-72 hours of doing this, click over to the next stage of rehab exercises to get started rehabilitating your sprained ankle or skip the hassle and download our comprehensive Sprained Ankle Recovery Guide.

 

And remember you still use ice after the first few days whenever it is sore or swollen.

 


Health

How to Prevent Ankle Sprains in Basketball | Infographic

• By

prevent ankle sprains in basketball

More in-depth:

What is the most common lower limb injury? Ankle Sprains

What is the most common basketball injury? Ankle Sprains

With ankle sprains being as prevalent as they are, it’s handy for basketball players to know what helps and what hinders their continued playing. Luckily, there are some brilliant studies that have looked into just that and today we have summarized a large study from the BJSM.

Main study components:

  • 10, 393 basketball players were observed for the study
  • 3.85 players injured per 1000 players
  • 45% were injured when landing

What are the risk factors for ankle sprains in Basketball Players

A previous ankle sprain is a massive risk factor due to a couple of reasons:

  • Large sprains can leave some laxity on the ligament and joint
  • Athletes not fully rehabilitating sprains back to 100%

Ankle sprains are too often brushed aside with a week or two off sport and rest before getting back to it but the trouble is then that there is normally some muscle weakness that needs to be addressed.

It is very interesting to see a massive 4.3 X risk of ankle sprain in those that wear air cell shoes (can be the more expensive shoes) compared to those that don’t. This is part of the reason there has been less of these type of shoes on the market recently.(1) This could be down to the fact that the air cell makes you slightly higher off the ground and also the fact that it takes away feeling and proprioception, worsening you muscles reaction time.

In terms of a warm-up, we find a lot of people think they get injured because they haven’t stretched but it is actually more likely to sprain your ankle if you don’t warm up – with dynamic stretches or game-like drills.

Prevention

This is fairly straightforward:

    1. As you have probably guessed, an easy one is to warm up well. You can use a guide such as the FIFA 11+ which has been shown to be effective for basketball as well as football(2) or this one from Jeff Haefner at Breakthrough Basketball
    2. Rehab injuries fully – challenge you dynamic balance until both limbs are even at least
    3. Use a lace-up ankle brace for up to 12 months after injury such as the DonJoy Ankle Brace

Conclusion:

Rehab well, protect injured ankles and don’t take them lightly.


Ankle

The Top Sprained Ankle Treatment | Infographic

• By

Because sprained ankles are so common, every second person you talk to will have a different opinion on what is best and what you should do. So, to help you out we looked at the best research and summarized what is REALLY the best sprained ankle treatment so that there is no room for confusion.

Here is our infographic summary:

Ankle sprain treatment

Explanation:

As you can see, almost all research papers that this systematic review looked at, agreed that physical therapy (physiotherapy) should be trialled before surgery. This is relevant for grade 1, 2 and 3 sprained ankles – so even the high-grade tears. Of course, every injury is different so there is always the exception to this but your physio can guide you better with that after a thorough assessment.

What we found interesting was that ankle braces are now being recommended for at least one-year post injury. They have also been shown over this time to effectively lower re-injury rates and should be a g-to sprained ankle treatment. It is also worth noting that certain treatments that are used very commonly such as ultrasound and manual therapy show little benefit – this isn’t to say that they offer no benefit, they just haven’t been proven to give statistically significant improvements – for some people that can really help and we find manual therapy is very effective for the sprains and fractures (when out of cast) that are particularly stiff.

You can check out one of our most popular posts on ankle rehab HERE. It details some great basic rehab exercises to help guide your ankle back to it’s best as this is far more beneficial than just resting the ankle. Resting won’t get your strength back, it won’t get movement back as effectively and can just lead to more dysfunction.

OR check out our new, full and comprehensive Ankle Rehab Guide – it is downloadable, simple and step by step, not to mention being research-based which means it is proven.

Takeaway point: Active rehab is the key to successful sprained ankle treatment.


Ankle

Do Ankle Braces Prevent a Sprained Ankle? | Research Round-up

• By

Given the high frequency of ankle sprains in everyday life and dynamic sports such as basketball and volleyball, we decided to feature some summaries of research papers that show just how effective different sprained ankle treatments are.

Today we have a great infographic summarizing a systematic review (the highest level of evidence)  that helps answer the question of how to how well do ankle braces really help prevent a sprained ankle:

ankle brace for sprained ankle running

This study effectively shows that ankle braces – lace-up braces specifically – are incredibly effective in reducing the number of sprains that occur in basketball and this can be translated quite well to assume that it has similar effectiveness to prevent a sprained ankle in other sports as well.

If you need an example of a good lace-up ankle brace, here is a good example on Amazon of the DonJoy Ankle Brace and if you want to make sure you rehab your ankle well, which reduces re-injury by 50%, follow our Sprained Ankle Rehab Guide


Health

Ankle Pain Running? Improve Your Ankle Range, FAST.

• By

Limited ankle range can cause you a lot of problems, and not just at the ankle.

Can you spare 5 minutes to improve your ankles and in turn, your running?

Well then you are in the right place! As I discussed in last weeks post,  whether you’re an amateur, weekend warrior or a pro, good ankle range is a must for many basic movement patterns. If you don’t have it, you can’t squat right down, you can’t have a proper stride when walking or running AND it loads up other areas of your body causing pain and injury.

But luckily, there are three easy exercises that you can do to improve your ankle range.

wpid-wp-1411170423169.jpeg

 

First: Have a quick look at the post I mentioned above to take the ankle range test, so that you know your score (this way you can see how well you improve!)

 

 

 

 

These are the three things will improve your score in days:

calf stretch , soleus, gastroc - self treatment for shin splints1. Calf stretch

Lets get the basics right. The easiest way to do it is to, one foot at a time, drop a heel of a steps, as shown.

Hold this for 30 seconds

Swap over and do the other foot, and then you are done.

 

2. Self myofascial release – Plantar fascia and calf

For the second exercise, you need to work over some of your tight soft tissue (muscle and fascia etc)

  • First, get a nice firm ball (eg, tennis ball, lacrosse ball). While standing, place it under one foot and apply medium pressure. Now slowly roll it around the bottom of your foot, right through the arch for 30 seconds on each side.
  • MTSS shin splints self treatmentSecond, get your Foam Roller – if you don’t have one, either buy one (great investment) or use a ball. Get down on the ground and spend 1 minute on each side, nice and slowly really working in through  your calves.

I know that was really two exercise, but I’m sure you can handle it!

 

That’s four minutes so far, one to go…

3. Ankle mobilization exercise

Check out this video by Adam Kelly, that demonstrates this exercise well – All you need is a strong elastic band or a willing helper and do this for 30 seconds on each ankle.

 

Done. You have just decreased your chance of ankle pain running, walking and more.(1)

I challenge you to make this a daily routine for 10 days and re-test and see how much your score has improved!

 

Let me know how you get on and be sure to subscribe for more.

 

 


Fist aid

Strains and sprains – Heal Your Injury Strong and Fast

• By

RICE injury treatment, heal strong and fastStrained muscle, sprained ligament, tear or bruise – The first 72 hours are critical and can mean the difference a season ending injury and a few weeks out. A few simple things that you can do will make the world of difference to any muscle strain or ligament sprain. Here I will give you all the information you need to look after your injury in the first 72 hours, including whether to use ice or heat for acute inflammation.

Why is the first 72 hours so important? Because of inflammation. Acute inflammation is your body’s natural response to harmful stimuli and occurs whenever an injury happens where there is  tissue damage, whether it is from a bruise to a full-blown ligament or muscle tear, it happens every time. There is a lot of stigma against inflammation but really it is a natural mechanism and there for a reason: It is the first stage of the healing process and so very important. So yes we do want it to happen, but it can also cause a lot of secondary damage and prolong healing and so we need to control it.

After tissue damage occurs, the inflammatory process moves in to kill and remove any infectious agents, remove the loose debris and then last, but not least lay the foundations for and activate the healing process. So not only is inflammation needed, but if you do not have it then the injury is never going to heal as strong as it can.

The healing process following soft tissue injury:

 tissue healing stages and self treatment

Phase 1: Inflammatory phase

This phase usually lasts up to 72 hours depending on how you look after the injury and is often called the protective phase as this is the time when our body is really trying to protect itself from further damage. The main signs of inflammation are heat, redness, pain and swelling.

When injury occurs soft tissue fibres are ruptured (to varying degrees depending on severity of injury) and then break down. A haematoma(blood clot) is formed from blood escaping out of damaged blood vessels filling the space between the torn fibers. At the same time, inflammatory cells enter the tissue from the damaged blood vessels. The inflammatory cells have a few jobs. The first job is to get rid of the broken down ruptured fibres and the second is to really turn up the dial on the process by producing chemical signals that dilate the blood vessels and increase their permeability so more calls can get to the tear. The third job is to attract fibroblasts, these guys are the builder cells that produce collagen – this is laid down at the tear to act as a natural band-aid.

Phase 2: Repair

This phase takes from 2 days to 6 weeks and pain can be intermittent throughout.

This is the phase where the tissues are re-built and regenerated. The initial re-builder cells, the fibroblasts have proliferated and produce more collagen into scar tissue. A new blood vessel system is also starting to form in this phase, bringing with it essential nutrients for healing. The injury is now a scar and so at this stage is still not very strong (even if it feels it or is painfree!). Because of this – this is a very risky phase of healing. As healing progresses we start to feel good about the injury, less pain, more mobile etc and we are tempted to go back to running, sport etc – Be warned it is not very strong!

Phase 3: Re-modelling

This final and very important phase takes 3-6 months and sometimes longer.  This stage is essential because up until now, all the new fibres produced have been irregular, just laid down all over the place into an inflexible scar instead of aligned nice and straight and strong. So the main aim in this stage is for the new scar to get strong and more flexible

 ——-

So why do we need to control the inflammatory process? If inflammation is left to run wild, the inflammatory chemicals can cause secondary damage and bleeding to the initially un-damaged tissue surrounding it. Also by applying the following principals we will decrease the amount of scarring and give ideal conditions for healing.

So here is what you should and should not do in the first 72 hours

Should:

sprain strain self treatment ice rest compressRICE to reduce extent of bleeding, swelling and injury

  • Rest, stop all aggravating injuries.
  • Ice, 10 minutes at a time every  hour you are awake.
  • Compression, an elastic compression bandage or tubing should be worn and only removed if needed for icing.
  • Elevation, if possible rest the injured area above the level of your heart.

Early mobilisation: it is important to begin moving the damaged area early, but gently as to avoid causing further damage. This early mobilisation means that normal muscle patterns are preserved, stronger new fibres are laid down, more scar tissue is re-absorbed, improved new blood vessel generation and last but not least there is less muscle wastage. Our bodies are amazing things that continually adapt to the forces that are out through them. So if you use the area functionally and normally, putting safe forces through the injured area, the body will heal according to these forces, making a much new tissue. Where as if you use crutches for a week or make yourself couch-bound you will end up with a weak, tight dysfunctional scar that could come back to bite you in the future.

Should-not:

HARM:

  • Heat
  • Alcohol
  • Running/Exercising the injured area
  • Massage

All of these things cause the blood vessels to dilate (open up)and increases the blood flow to the area, increasing the bleeding in the injured area. This is harmful to the repair process and will mean a drawn out recovery process.

Immobilize – unless it is a very significant tear or a suspected fracture. This is because immobilization can cause early and significant negative effects on various body systems. For example, metabolic processes leading to muscle atrophy(shrinking), and weakness of the quadriceps muscle start as early as 6 hours.

Immobilization does accelerate formation of new blood vessels and tissue, limits scar size, but as mentioned earlier unless it is a very significant tear or suspected fracture the benefit of early immobilization is much higher

NSAIDs (Anti-inflammatory medication): when used improperly these can hinder or even stop the first essential stage of healing and cause the tissue to be weaker in the future.

Final tip: If it is a lower limb injury you have (eg. Ankle sprain, calf tear, quad tear) then try to walk as normally as you can early. Just remember to walk heel-to-toe, heel-to-toe.

Whether you have a groin strain, sprained ankle or pulled muscle anywhere in your body, if you look after your injury right in the first 72 hours, you will be back to doing what you love faster and stronger! And remember if in doubt, go get it assessed by your local Physio.

If you are a trainer, coach, parent etc this is a great little resource to have around for quick information: Soft tissue injury info sheet.

Remember to Share, like and comment.

You might also enjoy:

Sprained ankle: heal strong and fast

Shin splints: the best self-treatment and advice

Self-myofascial release for neck pain

Tissue healing in more detail:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1897874


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