Everyone always hears the same old advice when they sprain an ankle. Ice it and rest. This is known as the R.I.C.E. system which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. While this is an okay approach in the immediate short term, there a re a lot of significant shortcomings to this system of rehab. They include:
Drawbacks of R.I.C.E.
* Usually takes at least 2-8 weeks to heal.
* Does not increase range of motion.
* Does not repair neural damage.
* Does not strengthen ankle.
* Increases risk of ankle injury in the future.
* Increases risk of knee (A.C.L. – Anterior Cruciate Ligament) and hip injuries.
I have sprained my own ankle a number of times in the past, because I play a lot of basketball. I have personally been through all the frustration and pain that is involved with this kind of injury. Eventually, I wondered if there was a better way to rehab myself then the old version of R.I.C.E. Since I am a certified trainer from one of the most prestigious fitness programs in the United States, (N.A.S.M. National Academy of Sports Medicine), I already knew that there had to be a better way. I just had to discover it.
I did a great deal of research and learned that there is indeed a much more effective way to treat a sprained ankle. One of the biggest drawbacks of R.I.C.E. is that it tells you to just rest and ice. But, you actually need to get moving just as quickly as possible. Besides, ice is only effective for a short while and that only contains the swelling, it doesn’t decrease it. So, I set about developing a program that anyone could use to heal a sprained ankle in a matter of days instead of weeks.
When you sprain an ankle, a lot of things happen. Beyond the obvious swelling, stiffness, and bruising, there are three main issues that must be addressed to heal the ankle quickly and correctly:
1) The body tends to heal very slowly. Left to itself, an ankle injury usually takes about 2-8 weeks to heal, depending on the severity of the injury. But, when you actively rehabilitate it with specific exercises that strengthen it and increase range of motion, the ankle responds very quickly and swelling goes down rapidly. My clients recover from a sprained ankle in days not weeks. They are usually walking normally within 3-5 days after an ankle sprain injury.
2) The ankle joint is weakened by the injury. If it is not properly rehabilitated, it will remain weak and will be very slow to heal. It will also be at such greater risk of re-injury. You have to strengthen the ligaments and muscles around the ankle joint. Since they have been damaged, they need to be stretched and strengthened in order to heal properly. Further, by stretching and strengthening the ankle, we keep the blood moving in and out of that area which helps the ankle heal significantly faster.
3) After an ankle injury, there is a neural impairment. In other words, the communication between the nervous system and the ankle joint will be decreased. If this isn’t addressed, healing will naturally take much longer. Also, after you think your ankle is better, the neural impairment will continue, putting you at risk for injury in the future.
My system works to reduce swelling, bruising and pain while at the same time strengthening the muscles around the ankle joint and increasing flexibility. These are not contradictory things. You may think you just need rest and ice, but that will insure your recovery process is slow and incomplete. The ligaments need to be stretched and worked in such a way that the body will trigger the healing process. In other words, the more flexible and strong your ankle becomes, the quicker your body will work through the healing process. But, you have to be very careful to not over-work the muscles by doing exercises that may overwork the muscles and possible cause more damage.
But, the best part about my program is that it’s not just about speed. One of the unique things about my system is that it also repairs the neuromuscular damage from the injury. When you do damage to ligaments as in an ankle sprain, the nervous system and muscles in the ankle joint to communicate as well anymore. If that’s not addressed, then you will always have weaker, less flexible ankles that are at risk for future injury. In order to properly heal the ankle joint, we must first correct the impaired neural communication between the muscles and nervous system. This is completely addressed in my system with a few surprisingly simple and easy to do exercises.
Here are the main benefits of the system:
* Pain free walking in days.
* Back to sports in about a week.
* Significantly increases strength and flexibility.
* Heals neuromuscular damage from the injury.
* Dramatically reduces your risk of future injury.
* Helps correct posture and muscle imbalances.
* May help dramatically reduce knee, hip, back pain.
* Anyone can do it.
* It’s simple and only takes minutes a day.
* Filled with high quality images to insure ease of use.