One of the common injuries that can result in lifelong difficulties are the ankle sprains. People with frequent or severe ankle sprains can develop long-term joint pain and weakness. Healing a sprained ankle can aid in preventing continuous ankle problems.
Physiotherapy exercises for ankle pain are crucial to make sure that the ankle heals completely and doesn’t get injured again.
One can start the healing process by walking or enduring some weight while using crutches if you handle it without too much pain.
One can begin with range-of-motion exercises in the first 72 hours after the injury. Continue your exercises that include stretching, strength training, and balance exercises, over the next several weeks to months.
One can also start ankle pain physiotherapy exercises at home to strengthen your ankle.
Begin each exercise slowly and use your pain threshold to guide you in doing the exercises. One can stop or take a break from the task if there is a sensation of more than mild pain.
The following are some types of physiotherapy exercises for ankle sprain that can help alleviate the pain.
Range-of-motion physiotherapy exercises for Ankle Sprain
One of the exercises that one can start right after the injury is the Range-of-motion exercises. Try to do the exercises up to 5 times a day than putting ice on the ankle. These exercises are easy to do while working or watching television.
Attempt the following simple range-of-motion exercises:
- Draw the alphabet with your toe, which supports ankle mobility in all directions. Draw the alphabet 1 to 3 times.
- While sitting in a chair and the foot flat on the floor, gently move your knee side to side while holding your foot pressed flat. Repeat the exercise for 2 to 3 minutes.
Range-of-motion exercises are one of the easiest exercises you can do for your ankle sprain is the towel curls. While sitting, place a foot on the towel kept on the floor and scrunch the towel toward you with toes. Next, also using your toes, push the towel away from you. Make this exercise more challenging by setting a weighted object on the other end of the towel.
Stretching physiotherapy exercises for ankle sprain
Begin exercises to stretch your Achilles tendon as much as you can without pain. The Achilles tendon joins the calf muscles on the back of the lower leg to the bone at the base of the heel. So, try the towel stretch by sitting down, or attempt the calf stretch if you can stand.
- The Towel stretch – Sitting with the leg straight in front. Keep a rolled towel under the ball of the foot, holding the towel at both ends. Slowly pull the towel towards yourself while keeping the knee straight. Maintain the position for approximately 15 to 30 seconds and then repeat 2 to 4 times.
- The Calf stretch – Stand facing a wall with your hands on the wall at about eye level. Place the leg that needs the stretch a step back to your other leg. By keeping the back heel on the floor, bend the front knee until there is a sensation of stretch in the back leg. Maintain the stretch for approximately 15 to 30 seconds and then repeat 2 to 4 times. The calf stretch exercise will stretch a different part of the calf muscles.
Strengthening physiotherapy exercises for Ankle Sprain
- Begin by sitting with the foot flat on the floor and pushing it out on a heavy object such as the wall or heavy furniture. Maintain for about 6 seconds and then relax.
- Sit down and put your feet together flat on the floor. Press your injured foot in on the other foot. Maintain for about 6 seconds and then ease out.
- After that, put the heel of the other foot on top of the injured one. Push down with the top heel while attempting to push up with the injured foot. Maintain for nearly 6 seconds and then east out.
Balance and control physiotherapy exercises for Ankle Sprain
One can generally begin with balance and control exercises when they can stand without any pain. Practicing the balance and control exercises at least once a day and then repeating it approximately six times in every session. One of the Balance and Control Exercises for an ankle sprain is the following:
Stand on just the injured foot while holding your arms out to your sides with the eyes open. One might feel unsteady, stand in a doorway so you can put your hands on the door frame to support you. Try to balance for as long as you can and try to work up to the target 60 seconds.
But before trying the above balance and control exercises for an ankle sprain, consult a doctor or physiotherapist about the precise timing to start these exercises. Remember, don’t attempt at these exercises if they were tough before the injury.
Before trying out any of the ankle sprain treatment or exercise, please make sure to consult a doctor or a physiotherapist who can help with the exercises. They can customize a plan for the ankle sprain exercises.