My sister sprained her ankle in P.E. class a few weeks ago and I shadowed her at her most recent physical therapy appointment.
As her therapist did some soft tissue work, he asked me which plane of motion you work on first when treating an ankle sprain. Admittedly, it’s been a while since I shadowed in a clinic, but I remembered that moving in the sagittal plane causes the least aggravation.
The sagittal plane at the ankle refers to pointing the toes/ankle towards the ceiling (termed dorsiflexion) and towards the floor (plantarflexion). It is important to regain range of motion progressively after an injury, but movement in the sagittal plane minimizes aggravation to the damaged lateral (to the side) soft tissue of the ankle.
Eventually, you work towards regaining motion in the frontal and transverse planes as well, as the tissue continues to heal so that functional movement can be obtained.
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