Olympian Alex Morgan

Caring for an ankle sprain

While ankle sprains are common in sports, 25,000 people sprain their ankle every day.1 That means you’re likely to experience an ankle sprain sometime in your life.

Let’s define a sprain. In simple terms, a sprain is when a ligament is overstretched or torn. If a sprain is not treated properly, long-term problems could develop and increase your risk of re-injury. Rehabilitation exercises and supportive ankle bracing can decrease this risk.

Alex Morgan suffered a sprained ankle during World Cup qualifying on Oct.18. It’s the same ankle she injured last fall, sidelining her for seven months.

Phases of ankle sprain rehab
Phase I: reduce swelling, rest, and protect your ankle
Phase II: restore flexibility, range of motion, and strength with exercises.
Phase III: return to mild activities. Then slowly back into cutting sports like soccer, basketball or football.

Once you can stand on your ankle, isometric exercises will help strengthen your muscles and ligaments. Plus, these exercises increase your flexibility, balance and coordination. Taping your ankle or using a supportive ankle brace during activities can help reduce your risk of injury.

With any injury, consult your physician for the best course of treatment.

1American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society