Recovery & Support for Foot & Ankle Sprains

While you’re recovering from a foot or ankle sprain, experts at NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation can provide physical therapy and other types of support designed to help you resume regular activities and avoid further injury. Our physical therapists provide their expertise and therapy at the Center for Musculoskeletal Care.

Pain Relief Medication

Your doctor may recommend taking an over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen, as needed throughout recovery. Sometimes, doctors prescribe stronger pain medications for a short period, typically up to two weeks, as needed.

Return to Activity

Your doctor determines when you are healthy enough to return to physical activity. After you heal, your doctor may recommend slowly returning to daily activities that involve the use of your foot or ankle. You may start with walking and cycling and later add activities that involve more impact to the feet, such as running, and side-to-side activity, such as tennis.

To ease you back into sports, our physical therapists and exercise physiologists may recommend that you use the Alter-G® Anti-Gravity Treadmill® at NYU Langone’s Sports Performance Center. To use this device, a therapist places an inflatable apron on your torso. This partially supports your weight while you walk or run, reducing impact and allowing a gradual return to your usual level of activity.

Orthotic Inserts

Your doctor may recommend the use of orthotic inserts, which are placed inside your shoes, to help support the foot and ankle and prevent further injury. Orthotics help redistribute the weight of your body across the bones and joints of the foot while you walk. This helps shift weight away from the injured area.

Orthotics often contain foam or gel to support your foot and make walking and running more comfortable. At NYU Langone, our podiatrists can custom fit inserts for you by creating a mold of your feet. It takes about two weeks to make these devices, and your doctor shows you how to use them.

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