A sprain is a stretched or torn ligament. Ligaments are tissues that connect bones at a joint. A sprain occurs when trauma (like falling, twisting or getting
hit) causes two bones to move beyond their normal range of motion and the ligament is stretched. Ankle and wrist sprains are the most common sprains and symptoms include pain, swelling, bruising and being unable to move the joint.
If you sprain a ligament follow the Physio-4 for Sprains, to reduce the chance of a greater injury, speed the healing process and keep moving for life.
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.
Physiotherapists are the rehabilitation specialists recommended most by physicians. They are university-educated health professionals who work with patients of all ages to diagnose and treat virtually any mobility issue. Physiotherapists provide care for orthopedic issues such as sport and workplace injuries, as well as cardiorespiratory and neurological conditions. As Canada's most physically active health professionals, BC's physiotherapists know how to keep British Columbians moving for life.