Dealing with a sprained ankle? Well, you should know that you can start exercising within 3 days after the injury, of course, if the injury is not too severe.
Remember, before performing any rehab exercises for ankle sprain, you have to apply the RICE method, but be aware not to let the ice to get into contact with your skin.
So, getting back to ankle sprain rehabilitation exercises you should know that the following stretches could be performed 5 times per day to maintain your range motion and flexibility in your ankle.
Important: before performing these exercises you should ask your doctor when you can actually start your rehab program.
1. Ankle alphabet
Image Credits: Ankle alphabet
Sit on a couch or comfortable chair. Extend your leg out and trace the letters of the alphabet in the air with your big toe. If there’s no pain, you can repeat this 2 or 3 times. This gentle exercise helps you to move your ankle in all directions.
2. Knee motion
Image Credits: Knee motion
Sit in a chair with your foot flat on the floor. Keeping your foot on the floor, slowly move your knee from side to side for 2 to 3 minutes. This stretches and relaxes the ligaments around your ankle.
3. Towel and tissue scrunches
Image Credits: Towel and tissue scrunches
Place a small towel on the floor in front of you while you sit in a hard chair. With your shoes and socks off, gently grab the towel with your toes, scrunch it up, and count to 5. Then release the towel and repeat. Do this 8 to 10 times— or less if you feel pain.
4. Towel stretch
Image Credits: Towel stretch
Sit on the floor with your leg stretched out in front of you. Wrap a towel or strap around the ball of your foot. Pull back on the towel so your toes move toward you. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Don’t over do it. You only need to feel a mild to moderate stretch on your calf muscle.
5. Standing calf stretch
Image Credits: Standing calf stretch
Stand facing a wall or in front of a countertop and put your hands on it for support. Place your injured ankle about one step back and your good foot forward. Keeping your back heel flat on the floor, slowly bend the knee of your good leg until you feel a moderate stretch in the calf on your injured side. Repeat this 3 times, holding for 30 seconds.
6. Heel raise
Image Credits: Heel raise
Stand with your hands in front of you, resting against a wall, countertop, or chair back for support. With your feet shoulder width apart, slowly rise up on your toes and come back down. Do about 10 of these at first and work up to 20 or more. Remember, you only want a moderate stretch and no pain. When these become easy, you can switch to doing it only with the toes on your injured side.
7. One-leg balance
Image Credits: One-leg balance
With your hands on a wall, countertop, or chair back, lift up your good leg behind you so that your weight rests on the leg with the injured ankle. Try to hold this for 20 to 30 seconds. As you get stronger, try doing it only with the support of one or two fingers. When you’re stronger, do this without holding on.
Image Credits: Kluchit