Full Guide: The 13 Exercises You Must Know For Sprained Ankle Ligaments

Exercises for sprained ankle ligaments

 

Sprained ankle exercises are incredibly important after an injury. Ankle sprains are common injuries caused when the ligament is stretched or torn. Most of the time, the ankle flips over so that the bottom of the foot is facing inward. This causes damage to ligaments on the outside of the ankle. Initially, the R.I.C.E. first aid method should be used to reduce pain and swelling. R.I.C.E. stands for Rest, ice, compression and elevation. There are several grades of ankle sprains ranging from grade one to grade three depending on severity. The next step of treatment is proportional to the sprains grade.

 

Sprained Ankle Exercises

It is important to go to the doctor to get an ankle sprain treated, especially if it is of a high grade, because if the ligament doesn’t heal properly then it is prone to be damaged again by even the slightest movements. Ankle injury increases the risk of re-injury by about fifty percent, so it is extremely important to stretch and strengthen the ankle with exercises for sprained ankle. Rehabilitation is absolutely necessary to repair an ankle sprain and to aid in recovery.

Sprained ankle exercises should start out slowly and be non-weight bearing. The following are simple range-of-motion exercises for sprained ankle to get started with:

 

The Alphabet

Sit on a chair or bed with the injured foot hanging downward. Use the toes as a pencil and trace all the letters of the alphabet one at a time. This will encourage ankle movement in all directions.

 

Dorsiflexion

Sit on the floor and try to point your foot back toward your body by only moving your ankle. Keep your knees straight and continue pointing backward until you feel discomfort. Hold for twenty seconds. Then repeat ten times.

 

Plantar Flexion

Sit on the floor and try to point your foot forward toward the ground by only moving your ankle. Keep your knees straight and continue pointing forward until you feel discomfort. Hold for twenty seconds. Then repeat ten times.

 

Inversion

Sit on the floor and try to point your toes up toward the ceiling. Turn your foot inward toward your other leg by only moving your ankle. Continue to turn your foot until you feel discomfort. Hold for twenty seconds. Repeat ten times.

 

Eversion

Sit on the floor and try to point your toes up toward the ceiling. Turn your foot outward, away from your other leg, by only moving your ankle. Continue to turn your foot until you feel discomfort. Hold for twenty seconds. Repeat ten times.

Stretching exercises for sprained ankle can be started as soon as the ankle can tolerate them without much pain.

 

Calf Stretch

Stand to face the wall with your hands at shoulder level. Keeping your toes pointed forward, put your injured foot on the other foot. Your back leg straight, keep your heels down. Stretch your calf by bending your front knee. Continue to hold for twenty seconds. Then repeat ten times.

The next step to strengthen the ankle is to advance to resistance sprained ankle exercises. They can be started when standing is possible without increased pain or swelling. The dorsiflexion, plantar flexion, inversion and eversion exercises can be repeated using a band or towel for added resistance. Remember never to tie the towel or band around your foot. This could cause problems with blood flow. Simply loop the band or towel around your foot in the desired location to make the exercise more challenging.

After resistance exercises are mastered, the next step is partial weight-bearing exercises. These help to further strengthen the ankle by putting more weight on it.

 

Seated Calf Raise

Sit in a chair and place the injured foot on the floor. Then raise your heel with your toes still on the floor. Continue to rise until you feel discomfort. Repeat ten times.

 

Single Leg Partial Weight-Bearing Stand

Stand on the uninjured foot and brace yourself on a sturdy object. Move some of your weight onto the sprained ankle. Continue until you feel discomfort. Hold for twenty seconds. Repeat ten times.

Putting more weight on the injured foot calls for full weight-bearing exercises for sprained ankles.

 

Single Leg Full Weight-Bearing Stand

Stand on the sprained ankle foot only. Hold for twenty seconds. Repeat ten times.

 

Standing Calf Raise

While still in the single leg stance, lift your heel off the ground and stand only on your toes and the ball of the injured foot. Continue rising until you feel discomfort. Hold for twenty seconds. Repeat ten times.

 

Lateral Stepping

Put a book or other small object on the floor. Take your injured foot and step over the object. Stay on that foot and then step back. Return to standing on both feet. Then take the other foot and step over the object. Stay on that foot and step back. End with both feet on the floor. Repeat ten times, increasing speed as you heal.

 

Lateral Jumping

Put a book or other small object on the floor. Jump over the object and land with the injured foot on the ground. Then jump back to the other side and land with the other foot on the ground. Repeat ten times, increasing speed as you heal.

If at any time your ankle or foot starts to swell, stop sprained ankle exercises and rest.

Sometimes, ankle sprains can cause balance problems. When rehabilitation is at its end, balance and control exercises are recommended to help prevent future injury. Use these balance centered sprained ankle exercises on finishing your rehabilitation.

 

Single Full Weight-Bearing Stand on a Pillow

While standing just on the injured foot, lift your other leg. Hold your arms out to your sides. Hold for sixty seconds. Next, try to repeat with your arms folded across your chest, and then with your arms out and your eyes closed_ Hold for sixty seconds each time and repeat ten times.

 

Sprained Ankle Exercises: The Conclusion

All exercises should be done on a daily basis to maximize results and to quickly get you back on your feet. Returning to regular daily life and events is the purpose of these exercises for sprained ankle. Walking, jogging then running is recommended as training for a return to normal activities. With these sprained ankle exercises your risk of re-injury should be decreased and your ankle sprain should be healed and repaired.

See:

Sprained Ankle Symptoms and Treatments

Heating pad for sprained ankle

Full Guide: Exercises For Sprained Ankle Ligaments, Last Update: 3/6/2017

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