Rehabilitating Ankle Sprains
Exercises used to rehabilitate after ankle sprains
Here at Portland Urgent Care, we regularly get visits from residents of the East Portland neighborhoods who have suffered common injuries such as ankle sprains. For some people, especially seniors, repeated injuries to the ankle can leave them with chronic pain in the ankle joint and weakness in the ankle and leg that could lead to dangerous or even life-threatening falls. One way to prevent these long-term problems and alleviate the threat of further injury is through properly treating and rehabilitating the injured ankle in the first place.
Rehabilitation exercises are a key part of the healing process. Most rehab exercises for injured joints like the ankle begin with weight-bearing exercises, especially walking. Further rehab adds stretching exercises, strength training and exercises to improve balance.
Range-of-motion exercises should begin as soon as possible after the injury. Exercises that encourage your ankle to move in all directions, such as tracing the alphabet in the air with your toe, are the norm. Stretching exercises follow, as it is vital to stretch the Achilles tendon as soon as it is possible to do so without pain. Any exercises that stretch the calf muscles on the back of the leg from the knee to the heel are perfect for this.
Strengthening exercise can start as soon as you have no pain or swelling upon standing, but consult with your therapist or doctor first. Balance and control exercises can begin when you can stand completely without pain, but don’t try anything you couldn’t do before the injury as you could risk falling.