Sprained Ankle Treatment – Physiotherapy Vs. Massage

An ankle sprain is an injury that occurs when the ankle twists, rolls, or turns in the wrong direction. An ankle sprain can stretch or tear ankle ligaments. Strains range from mild to severe.

Soft injuries can still allow an individual to walk. However, walking after a sprain can cause more damages to the ligaments. Sprains heal after some time, depending on the severity.

Mild injuries begin to recover after a few days, while severe injuries start to improve after some months. Different methods can be employed to fasten the healing of ankle sprains that is either physiotherapy or massage.

Physiotherapy method

The first step of the treatment is performing tests between 4 to 7 days after acute injury. This will allow the initial swelling and pain to reduce; hence therapist will have a more accurate diagnosis.  The treatment is given according to the stage of the injury.

Mild ankle sprain

During this phase, the injury heals faster with minimal interventions from the therapist. The recovery duration can be up to fourteen days. Taping and follow up is necessary to help evaluate the healing process.

Severe ankle sprain

During this stage, physiotherapy is needed together with a functional therapy for the treatment. The functional therapy treatment is administered in four stages that are inflammatory stage, the proliferative stage, early remodeling, and late maturation and remodeling.

The inflammatory phase focuses on pain and swelling reduction, improvement of circulation, and partial foot support. The patient is advised to apply ice, but before that, they need to see how a physio treats a sprained ankle.

The proliferative phase, on the other hand, aims to recover the foot and ankle function and improve load-carrying capacity. Early remodeling focuses on strengthening muscles and improving the stability and mobility of the foot.

Finally, late remodeling and maturation aim at improving regional load-carrying ability, enhancing walking skills necessary during daily living.

Massage therapy technique

Ankle sprains can take a long time to recovery, and adding massage therapy can be very helpful. Below are some of the massage techniques that can be used.

Effleurage

It involves the use of a long gentle stroke that is used to warm up the muscles before a deep massage. It is combined with other forms of massage to give the best result. The therapist massages above the injury area to improve circulatory blood flow and reduce swelling by removing fluid in the tissues out.

Cross friction massage

This massage is done after recovery from the acute phase of injury to prevent the formation of scar and breakage of existing scar tissue. Your ankle will be placed in an inward position to aid in stretching of the ankle ligaments

Conclusion

For you to have effective treatment of sprained ankle, combine the two treatment methods. For the physiotherapy treatment, ensure to see how a physio treats a sprained ankle before doing the physio exercises. When you injure your ankle, ensure that you visit a therapist, however how mild it looks to avoid reinjuries.

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