Recovering after an ankle injury calls for exercises focusing on the basic functions of your ankle. If your injury is a sprain, you can start exercising a few days after the incident. Severe injuries may require more rest time. Your ankle doctor will assess the injury and determine the best rehabilitation exercises and foot pain treatment.
If your ankle is swollen, rest in an elevated position with leg support. You can use ice to reduce pain and swelling. Avoid ice if you have peripheral vascular disease, Raynaud’s disease, vasospasm, arteriosclerosis, cold urticaria, and cryoglobulinemia. If your injury includes wounds, keep them clean, dry, and waterproof using a dressing.
Injured Ankle Exercises and How To Perform Them
Rehab exercises can boost circulation and strengthen the muscles around your injured ankle. You can start with simple exercises like walking while bearing some weight using crutches. Begin with range-of-motion exercises within a few days of the injury. Continue with stretches, strength training, and balance exercises over the next weeks or months. Follow the foot pain treatment your doctor recommends.
Here are common workouts for injured ankles:
1. Range of Motion Exercises
Range-of-motion exercises include ankle circles, drawing/writing with the ankle, and knee motion. To perform ankle circles, rotate your ankle in a circle and repeat the movement several times. Change the direction and rotate for the same number of circles. Sit in a comfortable chair or couch and hold your foot off the ground. Slowly make large clockwise motions, then make counterclockwise circles.
To draw or write with your foot, sit in a chair, then hold the foot off the ground. Trace every letter of the alphabet in the air using your foot. You can use the big toe as the cursor/pencil and repeat the drawing several times. The exercise shouldn’t cause any pain. To complete knee motion, sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Don’t raise your foot. Move your leg at the knee from one side to the other gently for a few minutes.
2. Strength Exercises
Your ankle must be strong enough to support the weight of daily activities. Stick to the doctor’s schedule when beginning this round of exercises. Common strength workouts for your ankle include towel curls, the band pushes, wall pushes, and heel raises. Towel curls involve grabbing a hand towel with your bare feet using the toes. Band pushes utilize a resistance band around the ball of your foot. Push against the band until your toes point slightly forward Ankle Injuries.
Wall pushes involve sitting on the floor with your feet resting against the wall. Bend your other leg and push against the wall with the injured leg. Hold for a few seconds, then repeat. You can also perform heel raises, which involve standing with your hands on the back of the chair. Keep your feet shoulder-length apart and flat on the ground. Slowly raise your toes, then go back down. Place an equal weight on your feet without favoring the injured ankle. Ankle Injuries.
3. Flexibility & Balance Exercises
Performing flexibility and balance exercises increase support for your body weight. Popular exercises include the calf stretch, standing calf stretch, and one-hand balancing. You can stretch your calf by using a towel, band, or other object. Sit on the floor with legs straight in front of the body and place the band around the balls of your feet. Stretch the calf gently without bending your knees.
For balance exercises, stand behind a chair and hold the back of the chair for support. Stand on the injured foot and raise the other foot off the ground. Slightly bend the standing knee and balance for a few seconds. Once you become comfortable, stand without supporting yourself with a chair. You can also progress to balancing while moving from side to side or slightly bending and straightening the knee.
Professional Foot Pain Treatment
Foot and ankle pain can make it difficult to complete routine activities like standing, walking, and running. If you injure your ankle, seek professional help immediately. Professional foot pain treatment will help you restore normal function and alleviate pain. Choose reputable foot and ankle institutes with experienced doctors specializing in your injury Ankle Injuries.