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How To Rehabilitate A Sprained Ankle - Summarized
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If you've sprained your ankle and have been browsing online resources about how to rehabilitate a sprained ankle without the help of a doctor, unfortunately you might not find anything new in this article. However, if this happens to be one of the first articles you've come across - all the information you need to know to rehabilitate a sprained ankle is HERE!

Though sprained ankles are generally though of as a minor injury and something you can just "walk off", they can actually be quite serious and may plague you for years. The most common reason for a re-injury is improper rehab so it's important that you learn how to rehabilitate a sprained ankle properly.

You should start with the classic RICE system. Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation are targeted at reducing swelling and the formation of scar tissue. If swelling is left to it's own devices, not only will it take longer for the ankle to heal properly, you'll be left with a bunch of scar tissue that will make the joint inflexible and open to re-injury. The injury should be iced every three to four hours, wrapped in a light bandage (like an ACE bandage or towel), kept above your heart, and out of action for about 48 hours. When you ice, be sure not to ice too often or too long (twenty to thirty minutes) as you can cause damage to the tissue.

After this 48 hour period, RICE is less effective and you need to start rehab. The key point to rehabilitate a sprained ankle is proactive-ness. It's easy to want to sit back and wait for the pain to go away, but if you want to get rid of scar tissue and ensure that your ankle recovers with full flexibility you need to start exercising it immediately.

When you begin to rehabilite a sprained ankle, in the first couple days after RICE you should take it easy. Depending on the level of your injury, you should keep it to simple flexibility exercises like drawing the ABC's in the air - stuff you can do without putting pressure on the ankle. When you feel up to it you can begin by placing your ankle on the wall or floor - this is the first step to begin walking on it. As you are able to put more and more pressure on it, you can begin to stand and take your first baby steps. This should be coupled with flexibility exercises.

The HEM ankle rehab program says that icing too long can slow down your recovery but I'm a fan of icing. Different places recommend different things at this stage in rehabilitating a sprained ankle - but I still ice once or twice a day and keep the injured area elevated when I can. These exercises and especially when you start walking again will cause blood flow and make the injury swollen and painful. At this point, blood flow is good because it gets fresh blood to the injury and helps to carry away the broken down scar tissue, but the swelling can be painful.

The next stages to rehabilitate a sprained ankle are a bit obvious I think, but perhaps this is because I'm familiar with HEM ankle rehab. Increasing difficult tasks like walking speed, stairs, and flexibility training are all quite simple to make up. My rule of thumb is see what's painful and work at it until it's not painful anymore. Be sure to continue these exercises far after you think your ankle has fully healed. It's easy to get caught up in the normal activities of life like work and hobbies. Many people stop rehabilitation after they feel they can go about these activities relatively painlessly but this kind of attitude may get you re-injured in the future. Though you are able to do the things you normally do there is probably going to be some weaker scar tissue left in there that needs to be worked out.

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