On Wednesday, I hoped to answer the question plaguing movement professionals and those dealing with injuries: ice or no ice? R.I.C.E (rest, ice, compress, and elevate), has been standard procedure since the term was coined more than 30 years ago, but since then recent research has suggested that M.E.A.T. (move, exercise, analgesics, and treatment) may be a better option. When recovering from a sprained ankle, whether you decide to use the R.I.C.E, M.E.A.T, or a combination of the two, the next question is how to speed recovery back to full functionality and performance.
After a sprain, ankle-dorsiflexion range of motion (ROM) may be impaired, which can lead to functional limitations in your gait and possible re-injury (Denegar et al., 2002). Therapeutic exercise to restore ROM of the ankle which may be impaired after injury has been shown to speed recovery compared to immobilization (Kaminski et al., 2013). One such therapeutic exercise for ankle mobility is to use the Yoga Tune Up® Therapy Balls to clean up the soft tissue area below your lateral malleolus. This area can develop scar tissue if not mobilized properly after an ankle sprain, potentially causing a limited ankle-dorsiflexion ROM.
Jill Miller and Dr. Kelly Starrett have a great video below about the importance of regaining range of motion in the ankle regardless if you are recovering from injury. You may be surprised at your improved range of motion from this short ankle ball buster!
Check out Jill and Dr. Kelly’s latest project, Treat While You Train for more ankle self massage and therapy ball techniques to clear up tension throughout the body.
1. Kaminski TW, Hertel J, Amendola N, et al. National Athletic Trainers’ Association position statement: conservative management and preventing of ankle sprains in athletes. J Athl Train. 2013;48:528-545
2. Denegar CR, Hertel J, Fonseca J. The effect of lateral ankle sprain on dorsiflexion range of motion, posterior talar glide, and joint laxity. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2002;32(4):166–173.