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How can you get back into exercise after a sprain or strain?

ANSWER

If you sprained your ankle, you may begin by walking slowly on a flat treadmill, then move to an incline, then begin to jog. Someone with a sprained wrist may begin with range-of-motion exercises, and then move on to lifting very light weights.

You can expect some discomfort during rehabilitation. But a sudden flare-up of severe pain is a signal to take a step back and move more cautiously. Talk to your doctor if this happens.

SOURCES:

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

Bureau of Labor Statistics.

John Martinez, MD, sports medicine specialist, team physician, USA Triathlon, San Diego.

C. Thomas Vangsness Jr., MD, professor of orthopedics, chief of the sports medicine service, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

Ralph Gambardella, MD, clinical associate professor of orthopedics, University of Southern California; orthopedist, Los Angeles Dodgers.

David Geier, MD, orthopedic surgeon, director, MUSC Sports Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston.

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Familydoc.org.

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on November 16, 2016

SOURCES:

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

Bureau of Labor Statistics.

John Martinez, MD, sports medicine specialist, team physician, USA Triathlon, San Diego.

C. Thomas Vangsness Jr., MD, professor of orthopedics, chief of the sports medicine service, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

Ralph Gambardella, MD, clinical associate professor of orthopedics, University of Southern California; orthopedist, Los Angeles Dodgers.

David Geier, MD, orthopedic surgeon, director, MUSC Sports Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston.

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Familydoc.org.

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on November 16, 2016

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How long does it take to recover from a sprain or strain?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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