Sprains Are A Pain But A Physiotherapist Can Help

Spraining an ankle or a wrist usually occurs after a fall.  Physiologically a sprain is when two bones move beyond their normal range of motion and the ligament connecting the two bones gets stretched.  Symptoms include pain, swelling, bruising and difficulty moving which can hamper physical activity.

“If you fall and sprain your ankle or wrist,” says Rebecca Tunnacliffe, CEO of the Physiotherapy Association of BC,“ seeking the care of a physiotherapist can help to hasten the healing process.   And by following our Physio-4 for sprains, patients are less likely to reinjure themselves.”

1.    RICE.  The RICE Principle (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) is a good first step following a ligament sprain. Check in with your physiotherapist who will assess your strength, range of motion, and biomechanics to ensure normal function is regained following your injury.

2.    Get relief.  If you have injured your ankle or wrist and experience swelling and limited movement, you probably have sprained a ligament and need immediate relief. Your physiotherapist will treat you with deep transverse frictions, electrotherapeutic modalities such as ultrasound and laser, and supportive bracing and taping to start your recovery.

3.    Build strength.  Strengthening the muscles surrounding the joint associated with your sprain will help provide needed stability. Your physiotherapist will show you exercises to help you isolate the correct muscles.

4.    Keep moving.  Your ability to move your joint is often impaired following a ligament sprain.  Your physiotherapist specializing in manual therapy can perform specific joint mobilizations to ensure the bones are moving optimally as your ligament heals.  Keeping moving is important as you recover.

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