gentle range-of-motion exercises right after your
injury while you have ice on your ankle. Perform a set of exercises by
repeating them 10 to 30 times. Do each set 3 to 5 times a day.
the following simple
range-of-motion exercises :
- Trace the alphabet with your toe, encouraging
ankle movement in all directions.
- Sit in a chair with your foot
flat on the floor. Slowly move your knee from side to side while keeping your
foot pressed flat.
Towel curls . While sitting, place a hand towel on a
smooth floor, such as wood or tile. While keeping your heel on the ground, curl
your toes and grab the towel with your toes to scrunch the towel. Let go, and
continue scrunching up the entire length of the towel. When you reach the end
of the towel, reverse the action by grabbing the towel with your toes,
scrunching it, and pushing it away from you. Repeat the exercise until you have
pushed the entire length of the towel away from you.
About 48 to 72 hours after
your injury, start exercises to stretch your
Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles on
the back of the lower leg to the bone at the base of the heel.
Towel stretch . If you can't stand, sit with your knee
straight and a towel looped around the ball of your foot. Gently and slowly
pull back on the towel for 15 to 30 seconds until you feel your calf stretch.
Repeat 2 to 4 times. In moderate to severe ankle sprains, at first it may be
too painful to pull your toes far enough to feel a stretch in your calf. Use
caution, and let pain be your guide. A little pain is normal, but you should
not feel moderate to severe pain. Do this exercise 2 or 3 times each day for
about a week. Then, make Achilles stretches part of your daily routine to
Calf stretch . If you are able to stand,
you can do this exercise by facing a wall with your hands at shoulder level on
the wall. Place your injured foot behind the other with the toes pointing
forward. Keep your heels down and your back leg straight. Slowly bend your
front knee until you feel the calf stretch in the back leg. Repeat as above.
As soon as
you can bear weight without increased pain or swelling, begin
muscle-strengthening exercises. These exercises should be held for 3 to 5
seconds. Do 15 to 20 repetitions once or twice daily for 2 to 4 weeks,
depending on the severity of your injury.
Start by sitting with
your foot flat on the floor and pushing it outward against an immovable object
such as a wall or heavy furniture. After you feel comfortable with this, try
using rubber tubing looped around the outside of your feet for resistance.