Last week we discussed why rehabilitation is so important to recovering fully from an ankle sprain. To recap, the first 1-2 weeks of an ankle sprain need REST, taping, retraining of a normal walking pattern, and simple movement and balance exercises.
This week we will focus on how to progress your rehabilitation beyond these first two weeks of an ankle injury, such as a sprain.
Weeks 3-6 following an ankle injury should involve:
1. STRENGTHENING the muscles around the ankle and affected leg. Often, the calf muscles, and muscles surrounding the hip on your affected leg, will become weaker. This is due to the altered walking pattern that many people adopt to compensate for their sprained ankle.
Exercises, such as these, are important in helping to re-balance and strengthen these muscles:
A) Bilateral heel raises: Start in a standing position with your feet at hips-width apart. Keeping your knees straight, rise on to your toes. Return to the starting position, controlling the movement as you lower your heels to the ground. Progress to single leg heel raises as you become stronger.
B) Squats: Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees and hips pushing your hips back behind you and leaning your body forwards, as though you are about to sit on the chair. Do not allow your knees to travel in front of your toes. Keep your weight on your heels, not your toes. At the bottom of the squat, tense your buttocks, lift and straighten back up to the start position.
2. STRETCHING the muscles around the ankle. Try some calf stretches and general stretches around the hip.
3. TAPING your ankle will help to support it as it strengthens. The best taping for sprained lateral ligaments of the ankle include the stirrup strap, figure six and the heel lock.
4. BALANCE. It’s important to continue exercises that will progress your balance. Try these:
A) Single leg standing; firstly, with your eyes open for 30 seconds, and then progress to eyes closed for 10 seconds
B) Hopping on the spot x 10 . Progress to 3 sets
C) Progress to side to side hopping x10
I hope these tips will help your ankle rehabilitation if you’re suffering from a sprain.
If you experience any excessive and unexplained pain, make sure you visit your doctor or physiotherapist.
#movebetterforlife #ankleinjuries #anklerehabilitation #wintersportinjuries #takecare #remembertostretch #payattentiontoyourbody #strength #flexibility #sprains #rehab #rehabilitation – image by Freepik