Stage 2. Stage II marks the beginning of scar tissue formation. At this time, heat is used along with passive range of motion. The heat helps muscles relax, stimulate metabolic activity in the area and increases the blood flow. Passive range of motion is moving the effected joint through a range of motion with out any effort from the patient. It is preformed by the doctor, therapist, trainer, etc. This helps keep the joint mobile while the scar tissue is forming.

Stage 3. Depending on the severity of the sprain, this phase can start anywhere from one to three weeks after the initial injury. This stage signals the formation of mature scar tissue. Full active range of motion exercises are performed. The injured side should be tested, using the healthy side as a guide. Look at the girth of the muscles around the injured joint, range of motion around the joint and strength around the joint. Compare it to the healthy joint, your goal will be to return the damaged side back to the functionality of the other side. A 100% recovery may not be possible if the damage was too extreme.

Stage 4. The forth and final stage starts when the goals of stage three are completed. The size, strength and range of motion in the joint are similar to the healthy joint. This phase is specific to whatever sport or activities the patient participates in. It is basically retraining the injured area to perform again. For example, a volleyball setter sprains her hand. Her forth stage treatment would be to get her “touch” back, and learn to set again, as well as she did prior to the injury.

Other treatments I have had positive results with, not listed here include:

Ultrasound
Electro-stimulation
Joint mobilization
Aqua therapy
Ultrasound can be set to mimic ice or heat.

Electro-stimulation can be used to help strengthen muscles.

Joint mobilizations do just that, keep the joints mobile.

Aqua therapy is completing specific exercises in a pool.

Any injury that keeps you out of the game deserves professional attention. It doesn’t matter if your not playing for gold or the big bucks. You play just as hard as the pros! So if you are injured, see your health care professional. Your one and only body is worth it!

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