Sports massage techniques can help with treatment and rehabilitation of ankle sprains by realigning new scar tissue fibres and reducing swelling.
Cross friction massage
After the acute phase, cross friction massage directly to the ligament can help in preventing scar tissue formation.
- This type of deep massage can be commenced from around 7 days after injury, as long as it is not painful.
- Cross friction massage should be applied with the ligament in the stretched position.
- Apply direct pressure backwards and forwards with a single finger across your ligament (not along the ligament).
- Cross friction massage may be uncomfortable but it is important to stay within the limits of pain.
Small circular frictions
- 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 arond the joint may help reduce swelling.
- As your pain subsides, deeper techniques can be incorporated to help loosen the calf and shin muscles and improve range of motion.
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.