What's involved in rehabilitation for an ankle sprain?

Rehabilitation is used to help decrease pain and swelling and to prevent chronic ankle problems. Ultrasound and electrical stimulation may also be used as needed to help with pain and swelling. At first, rehabilitation exercises may involve active range of motion or controlled movements of the ankle joint without resistance. Water exercises may be used if land-based strengthening exercises, such as toe raising, are too painful. Lower-extremity exercises and endurance activities are added as tolerated. Proprioception training is very important, because poor proprioception is a major cause of repeat sprain and an unstable ankle joint. Once you are pain-free, you may add other exercises, such as agility drills. The goal is to increase strength and range of motion as balance improves over time. (This answer provided for NATA by the Weber State University Athletic Training Education Program.)

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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.