How Long Does a Sprained Ankle Take to Heal

A sprained ankle cause ligament to overstretched and tear. Recovery time factors are the extent of the sprain and swelling, also a diagnostics exam to determine physiotherapy rehabilitation is needed.

The typical grades of a sprain is quantified one to three. A Grade 1 usually is a week or two of recovery time with minor swelling and pain. A Grade 2 sprain generally is four to six weeks to heal. Grade 3 is severe, and can be eight to 12 weeks with physiotherapy exercise program; regularly surgery is needed for muscle repair.

A physiotherapy exercise program helps the ligament to self-heal. A Grade 2 or 3 differentiates in amount of swelling.

The conventional RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) techniques helps recovery time, also stabilize swelling, circulation and inflammation. Swelling and circulation is an active and passive process when it occurs. A Grade 2 sprain swells like a balloon thus rehabilitation is a longer recovery time. RICE techniques are important, specially ice and compression. Because less swelling helps to restore the mobility and range-of-motion (ROM) of an ankle sprain.

Initial treatment is stabilizing the internal bleeding from the injured ligaments, tendons, or muscles. The bleeding causes swelling so elevation is crucial for a healthier circulation of the sprained ankle. Tissues are self healing and the elevation helps muscle repair.

Recovery time for a Grade 2 or 3 sprain depends on stabilizing the swelling and inflammation to restore regular ROM and flexibility. Relative to a sprain ankle is a dislocated ankle, so if bone also needs self-healing, then recovery time can be up to three months.

When you can tolerate movement and swelling is controlled, attempt gentle stretching and regular ankle joint ROM.  Common ankle-sprain rehab exercises are

  • Ÿ  towel stretch
  • Ÿ  standing calf stretch
  • Ÿ  standing achilles/soleus stretch
  • Ÿ  alphabet exercises
  • Ÿ  toe circles
  • Ÿ  step-ups
  • Ÿ  towel curls
  • Ÿ  toe raises

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