What do I need to do long-term?
Rehab, rehab early, rehab properly.
What will rehab look like?
In the early days, we’ll work on decreasing the swelling, getting you walking comfortably and maintaining the movement in your ankle to stop it from getting stiff.
If your ankle is already stiff, we’ll work on increasing the movement in it through hands-on treatment and exercises for you to do at home.
Balance is another really important thing to work on early. Our ligaments play an important role in sending messages to our brain about how our joints are moving. When you injure a ligament, these messages get interrupted. By training balance, we strengthen these messages so that if you go to roll your ankle again, your brain can feel that movement and correct it before it goes far enough to do damage.
We’ll start strength work early – strengthening your calf, the muscles in your feet, and the muscles that stop you from rolling your ankle.
We’ll also give you some exercises to maintain strength throughout the rest of your body so that you’ll still be strong when you go back to your sport.
4. Agility and Power
Part of teaching your ankle and body to react and adjust quickly is training agility. This will start off with things like hurdle hopping and obstacle courses and will progress into sport-specific training drills.
As you progress towards returning to the sport, we will push your strength and conditioning more to prepare your body to get back to playing. We’ll walk you through a running program, then get you joining in with parts of training, doing more as your ankle gets stronger.
One of the most underrated aspects of rehab is making sure you’re confident before going back to the sport. In a game, there’s so much going on and if you’re worried about hurting your ankle again, you’ll move differently and it’s likely you’ll hurt it again or injure something else.
We have tests that will help us see how confident you are, but it’s important that you’re honest with us about this as, at the end of the day, you’re the only one who knows how confident you feel on your ankle. Outside of our testing, confidence is the biggest indicator of re-injury risk.