Spell your way to a quick Ankle recovery!
In a previous post I explained how to get rid of swelling in the ankle joint by using the Rest Ice Compression Elevation protocol during the first 24 Hours after a sprain and the Cryokinetic Bath for the next 48-72 hours following that.
After the initial 24 Hours and in between doing the Cryo-bath, I recommend doing a simple “Ankle Alphabet” exercise but staying in a pain free range of motion.
The Exercise entails drawing the letters of the alphabet with the injured ankle and repeating the exercise 2-3 times every few hours. By drawing the letters, the ankle moves through all the planes of motion (up-down, side-side, rolling in and out and a combination of all of the movements together).
This simulates the movement patterns needed for walking and everyday activities, but because these are performed non-weightbearing, there is no excessive force being placed on the injured structures. The movement also enhances the circulation to the damaged tissues and assists in much needed proprioception (awareness of joint position).
So a typical early phase ankle rehabilitation programme would look like this:
First 24 Hours: R.I.C.E (Rest Ice Compression Elevation)
48-72 Hours after that: Every 2-3 hours
- Ankle Alphabet x 3 followed by,
- Cryo-kinetic Bath for 25 minutes
This should see you back to full Range of Motion and very little swelling within a few days and ready for the next phase of rehab. I’ll discuss the Second Phase of Ankle Rehab in a future post.