Sprained Ankle Massage

Cross friction ankle massage

Sprained ankle massage techniques form part of a full rehabilitation program. In particular, cross friction massage to the injured ligaments help realign new scar tissue.

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When can I begin ankle sprain massage?

During the acute phase, immediately after you sprain your ankle, the priority is to apply the PRICE principles (rest, ice, compression, elevation).

From around 3 days after injury, small circular frictions applied gently around the joint may help reduce swelling.

As your pain subsides, deeper ankle sprain massage techniques can be incorporated to help loosen the calf and shin muscles and improve range of motion.

Cross friction massage can be commenced from around 7 days after injury, as long as it is not painful.

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Cross friction massage

After the acute phase, cross friction massage across the ankle ligaments can help in preventing scar tissue formation. It depends on which ankle ligaments are torn as to exactly where cross friction massage techniques are applied.


Apply direct pressure backwards and forwards with a single finger across your ligament (not along the ligament).

Cross friction massage may be uncomfortable. This is normal, however, it is important to stay within the limits of pain. If it is so painful you tighten up with pain or flinch then treatment is unlikely to be beneficial.

Calf muscle massage


Sports massage techniques for the lower leg and calf muscles will not directly help as part of ankle sprain treatment.

However, keeping the lower leg muscles in good condition will help prevent tight knots, lumps, and bumps in the muscle, as well as aid tissue fluid dispersal.

Ankle rehabilitation program

  • Download our FREE Ankle sprain rehabilitation app: Iphone | Android

This article has been written with reference to the bibliography.
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