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How soon after a sprain can I start exercising again?

Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, MD
Emergency Medicine
It really depends on the severity of the sprain. I base it on your pain.
 
After a sprain, I like to advise my patients to rest for a couple of days, elevate the area, and apply ice.  Once it begins to feel better, such that you don’t have pain just by doing normal things (sitting, standing, walking), then you can start to exercise slowly. Start with gentle exercises, such as using a resistance band to strengthen the area, or low-impact cardio activities like walking.
 
Also, it’s always important to look at why you sprained something. Are the muscles around that joint weak? If so, you’re going to be at risk for spraining it again, and you’d benefit from physical therapy.
 
Remember, listen to your body. There’s no one, set date after which you can exercise.  If you feel pain, stop.
 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.