Be wary of treatment programs that only rely on ultrasound or electric stimulation to reduce swelling. Additionally, programs must focus strengthening the muscles contained in the foot and ankle, as well as dynamic ankle strength of the muscles that cross the ankle joint. Treatment cannot be limited to traditional ankle strength testing.
Many patients receive and are prematurely discharged from physical therapy because of strength testing. Ankle sprains rarely occur because of a lack of strength; many times, the person presents with maximum strength in testing. Sprains tend to occur many times because, from a neuro-muscular standpoint, the muscle cannot recruit the strength fast enough to prevent injury.
Treatment programs usually focus on a return to traditional strength patters versus dynamic strength, which could be one of the reasons that re-injury rate, which is 20 percent in the everyday population, and is higher in the athletic population, is so prevalent.
As with any injury or illness, prevention is key; participating in a comprehensive Prehab or injury prevention program can actually help to prevent this injury or reduce the severity when injury occurs. If an injury does occur, it is important to be armed with knowledge on how to evaluate proper protocols in order to give yourself the best chance at a full recovery.