Every PT has an origin story about why they decided to become a physical therapist and many of those stories start with an injury. My path to becoming a physical therapist had a few different origins, but one of those did start with an injury… and a not so great PT experience. As a kid I was bouncing around, climbing trees, and asking for a trampoline, so my mom signed me up for gymnastics. I fell in love with the sport. I loved flipping around to fun music on the floor, sailing off the bars into the pit, and flying off the vault.
I don’t remember when or how it happened for the first time but at some point I “rolled” my ankle. I rested, iced, hopped around for a few days, then went back to gymnastics. I was proud of myself for being “tough” and not complaining. But then it happened again. And again. And again. Each time setting me back in the sport I loved. Each time forcing me to sit out for days or weeks. Once occurring the night before State Meet, which I prepared for all season. I worked hard to get back each time. I didn’t know there was any other option.
After one particularly bad sprain, I was prescribed physical therapy. I went for 2-3 visits (and I did think… hmm, this is a pretty cool job), then was discharged. I’m sure it helped a little, but I didn’t learn how to keep this from happening again. I didn’t know what criteria I should meet to return to my sport safely. I didn’t know why this kept happening to me. I still had a long and fun gymnastics career, however now as a PT I look back and wonder what it would have been like without all of those physical, mental and emotional setbacks.
It has been reported that as many as 28, 000 ankle injuries occur in the US every day (1) and some report that up to 45% of all athletic injuries are ankle sprains (2). Yet, many athletes never undergo physical therapy after an ankle sprain. And even if they do, it may not include the focus on education needed to help an athlete (or a non athlete!) to prevent future injuries.
So, should you seek physical therapy after an ankle sprain or fracture? Yes!
So, if you’ve recently had an ankle sprain or fracture, come in (or schedule a virtual visit) and see what makes our physical therapists the best of the best in Newton! If you’ve had ankle sprains or fractures in the past and continue to have pain or decreased function, you can benefit from physical therapy too. And if you aren’t currently injured but would like to prevent future ankle sprains, schedule a Wellness Visit with one of our physical therapists. I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about ankle sprains and physical therapy. Stay healthy, stay strong, and keep those proprioceptors firing!
Kate Hamilton, PT, DPT
Orthopedic Clinical Specialist