FAQ049: I tore a ligament in my ankle from a sprain, now what?

With bad ankle sprains, persons can tear a ligament on the side of their ankle

I’m sorry to tell you that if you’ve torn a ligament, it won’t come back. But our body is AMAZING and we are able to compensate for those loses. That is when rehab comes in. If we have torn a ligament in our ankle, regaining the movement in your ankle as well as strengthening the muscles around your ankle becomes really important.

What does rehab look like for an ankle sprain?

There are a couple of goals and steps when you are working with a physiotherapist to recover from an ankle sprain.

First of course, is tips and strategies to help with the pain and reduce the swelling. When you first injure your ankle, it can swell up like a balloon. The pressure from the inflammation can cause pain and prevent your ankle from moving well. Manual therapy for the swelling as well as exercises to get the blood pumping in and out of the ankle can help with flow.

Once you are out of the acute pain stage, then you can really begin to work on your movement. There are a couple of things you need … range of motion, strength and balance.

Range of Motion

Stiff ankles make it really difficult to move around. Squatting down, going up stairs and even walking without a limp all require a certain amount of ankle movement. If you don’t have that back, it can be hard to move around your environment. Stretching and different physiotherapy techniques can help improve that movement after your ankle sprain.


If a ligament has torn or has been stretched in your ankle, the stability of your ankle goes down. What this means is that the muscles around the ankle need to pick up the slack. When you have any injury, you experience some loss of muscle strength. You need to gain that back and maybe more. Working on an exercise program that has a focus on strengthening can really help with your ankle pain.

Balance and Proprioception

Proprioception is the ability for our body to know where it is in space. With an injury such as an ankle sprain, that can get disrupted. This in turn, affects our balance. Exercise being the key here again, you can work with your physiotherapist to improve balance and proprio to get you back in tip top shape!

Anyways enjoy the video and check out our previous video on what IS an ankle sprain?

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Christina Prevett

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