Physical Therapy for Foot & Ankle Sprains

After initial treatment for a foot or ankle sprain, which may include rest, ice, compression, and elevation, your NYU Langone doctor may recommend physical therapy to help build strength and improve balance and range of motion in the injured foot or ankle.

Physical therapists at NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation meet with you to develop a plan to improve function, so that you can return to activities such as walking and sports.

NYU Langone’s Center for Musculoskeletal Care is equipped with the newest and most advanced physical therapy equipment.

Some severe sprains, particularly those that occur with a fracture, may require surgery.

Therapeutic Exercises

Though keeping weight off your foot or ankle for several weeks can help a sprain heal, it can also cause muscles to weaken. Strengthening muscles that support the foot and ankle can improve balance and range of motion and prevent a future injury.

You may begin physical therapy after swelling has subsided and you can walk without significant pain, typically two to three weeks after the injury. Therapy may include mobilizing the ankle joint and stretching the foot to improve range of motion. As your movement improves, your physical therapist guides you in returning to more vigorous activity.

Your therapist teaches you techniques for participating in daily activities and sports in ways that may help prevent future injuries. These can include warming up before athletic activities, wearing proper footwear, and maintaining a healthy body weight. If you need to lose weight, specialists at NYU Langone’s Weight Management Program can give you the support you need.

The duration of physical therapy depends on the severity of the foot or ankle sprain.

More Foot & Ankle Sprains Resources

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