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Should you exercise your ankle after you sprain it?

ANSWER

After an ankle sprain, start doing exercises again as soon as you can do so safely. You might be stiff and sore, but the sooner you get it moving, the quicker you’ll recover and better you’ll avoid further injury.

Start with range-of-motion exercises and basic stretches. Then move on to strength, balance, and stability exercises. A little discomfort is OK, not pain. Not sure? Check with your doctor.

SOURCES:

Arthritis Research UK: “Ankle Sprain Information and Exercise Sheet.”

U.C. Berkeley, University Health Services: “Ankle Sprains.”

U.S. National Library of Medicine, Journal of Athletic Training: “Rehabilitation of the Ankle After Acute Sprain or Chronic Instability.”

American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society: “How to Stretch Your Ankle After a Sprain,” “How to Strengthen Your Ankle After a Sprain.”

FamilyDoctor.org: “Ankle Sprains: Healing and Preventing Injury.”

University of North Carolina Sports Medicine and Family Medicine: “Lateral Ankle Sprains.”

Reviewed by Tyler Wheeler on May 26, 2019

SOURCES:

Arthritis Research UK: “Ankle Sprain Information and Exercise Sheet.”

U.C. Berkeley, University Health Services: “Ankle Sprains.”

U.S. National Library of Medicine, Journal of Athletic Training: “Rehabilitation of the Ankle After Acute Sprain or Chronic Instability.”

American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society: “How to Stretch Your Ankle After a Sprain,” “How to Strengthen Your Ankle After a Sprain.”

FamilyDoctor.org: “Ankle Sprains: Healing and Preventing Injury.”

University of North Carolina Sports Medicine and Family Medicine: “Lateral Ankle Sprains.”

Reviewed by Tyler Wheeler on May 26, 2019

NEXT QUESTION:

How soon after an ankle sprain can you do range-of-motion exercises?

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