As you may remember, I sprained my ankle over two weeks ago. When I surfed on the Internet with my ankle bundled up and elevated on my desk (as per RICE instructions), I found Scott Malin’s ebook H.E.M Ankle Rehab System and purchased it.
I’m glad I did!
The HEM Ankle Rehab book is one of those purchases where you get more than you expect. It’s actually two books: a rehabilitation program for ankle sprains and a prehab program for building strong and stable ankles. The pdf is all of 160 pages with lots of detailed pictures and instructions.
According to Scott Malin, the problem with R.I.C.E. protocol is that it’s slow, ineffective and outdated. The HEM ebook presents an alternative treatment for ankle injuries.
It has three parts – the first two have instructions for treating the swelling, pain and stiffness associated with the sprain. The third part consists of rehabilitation exercises for the ankle, including mobility, balance and strengthening movements.
I started applying the HEM program on my left ankle on the second day after my sprain and it really speeded the recovery process. Usually after the sprain your ankle is stiff as a board and painful even weeks after the injury. With the H.E.M protocol, I got rid of most of my stiffness in a few days and was able to start with the rehab exercises on the third day after the sprain.
I’m almost done with the rehab exercises in the first part of the book and will move on to the more demanding prehab exercises. I’m going to continue with the prehab program till my ankles are better than they were before my sprain.
Let me remind you again why it is so important to rehabilitate your ankle after even a small ankle sprain. In Scott Malin’s words:
But there is a more serious problem with R.I.C.E. that goes beyond the slow healing rate. It sets you up for many future ankle and potentially more serious injuries. You see, with the initial injury, you’ve weakened the ligaments around the ankle joint and they will now be much more susceptible to injury with much less provocation. In addition, scar tissue develops which inhibits a healthy range of motion in the ankle joints. So, if you do not specifically rehabilitate the ankle joint by strengthening and mobilizing it, you will be much more susceptible to injuries to the knees and hips. (p. 7, emphasis mine).
In other words, if you don’t want to end up a serial ankle sprainer like me, you had better do something about it!