After experiencing a sprained ankle, you may be eager to get back on your feet; however, it is critical to take things one step at a time. When recovering from any injury, you can never be too careful and a common mistake is to go too far too fast while trying to “push through” the pain. After you have received initial medical care and once your ankle can support your weight, engaging in training exercises can help to prevent the risk of re-injury.
Below, we have outlined several types of exercises that may be able to help you after an ankle sprain. If you want to know if the following exercises are right for you or if you have questions about how to perform the movements, speak to one of our qualified Aberdeen physical therapists today.
Four types of exercises for sprained ankles include:
- Range of motion: These exercises place a relatively low amount of stress on your joints and are typically among the first you can perform after an injury. While sitting down, trace shapes, numbers, and letters in the air with the toe of your injured foot. Repeat this activity several times per day. Another common range of motion exercise: while sitting, place your injured foot flat on the floor and gently move your knee back and forth.
- Stretching: These exercises aim to stretch the muscles around the tendons in your ankle to reduce tightness and improve flexibility. Sit on the ground with your leg set flat straight in front of you. Then, place a towel held at both ends under the ball of your foot and pull gently, stretching your calf. Keep your knee straight and hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds. While you should feel the tension in your leg, stop the exercise if you begin to feel pain.
- Balancing: After an ankle sprain, re-training your ability to effectively balance is a critical step in reducing the risk of future injuries. Additionally, be sure to only perform exercises if you could do them when you were uninjured. Improving your balance can be a daily activity. First, stand on one foot with your arms out to the side to help you keep balance. Consider standing next to a wall or in a doorway to catch yourself should you need to. As your balance improves, increase the difficulty of the exercise by crossing your arms or closing your eyes.
- Strengthening: These exercises focus on building muscle directly. Sit down with your leg against a stationary object and “push” against it with the ball of your foot. You can also use resistance bands to create tension and perform the same motions. When doing any sort of strength training, do not exercise with more resistance than you feel comfortable using.
Just as no two injuries are the same, the best treatment schedule may be different for each person. The exercises above can be a great place to begin; however, little can replace the guidance and direction of a trained therapist. At ProFysio Physical Therapy, each of our therapists has undergone rigorous clinical training and is a Doctor of Physical Therapy. We are also the only fellowship trained therapists in Monmouth County and provide every patient with the compassionate care they need to live a life in motion.
Are you ready to get started on the road to recovery? Call (732) 333-6360 or schedule an initial appointment with our friendly staff to learn more about how we can help.