Physical Therapy for a Sprained Ankle

Getting a sprained ankle can happen to anybody. The sprain typically occurs when the ligaments stretch beyond its limit.

sprained ankle

Getting a sprained ankle can happen to anybody. It can be your friend who is just passing by, a random kid running, or even you when you walk down the stairs. The sprain typically occurs when the ligaments stretch beyond its limit.

In mild cases, you can cure the sprain by applying ice to the injured area. You can even just take a rest for a while.  But if the injury is intense, it is best that you consult with your doctor. One of the possible treatments that the doctor will recommend is undergoing physical therapy.

Physical therapy is often a solution to those with life-long conditions such as a sprained ankle. It is a healthcare exercise that requires a physical therapist. Apart from curing your condition, physical therapy will also prevent you from having a sprained ankle.

Rehabilitation Exercises for a Sprained Ankle

When you go to the clinic for physical therapy, the therapist will assess your condition and medical surgeries. Then, he or she will then develop a treatment plan for you. In the case of those with sprained ankles, one part of the treatment plan is by trying to walk around. You can use crutches if you need to.

Another way is through rehabilitation exercises. Usually, the best time to do this is 72 hours after you got the injury. Some of these exercises include strength training, sketching, and balance exercises. Here are some examples of rehabilitation exercises:

Strengthening Exercises

This type of exercise will be given to when you can already stand without your ankle swelling or feeling pain. When you are qualified, you will be asked to do 8 to 12 repetitions of the activity. You are required to do these once or twice a day for up to 4 weeks. Take note that the number of time you are going to this exercise will depend on your condition.

Here are the steps you can do for this kind of workout:

  1. Sit comfortably anywhere you want. Just make sure that your foot is flat on the floor.
  2. Push an immovable object outward. It can be a piece of furniture or even a wall.
  3. Push the said object for six seconds
  4. Afterward, place a rubber tubing around your foot.
  5. Push your foot against the rubber tubing and count to 10 while pulling your foot back.
  6. Then, put your feet together and push one foot inward to the other foot.
  7. Hold the position for around 6 seconds
  8. Next step is to put the heel of your foot above the injured one.
  9. Push down the foot on top while pushing up the injured foot.
  10. Hold this position for six seconds.

Range-of-motion Exercises

This activity is suitable for those who just got the injury. One of the first steps of range-of-motion exercises is by placing ice on top of the injured ankle. Do this five times a day. You can even do this while watching TV or reading a book. Here are the other workouts that you can do:

  1. One of the easiest ways to do this workout is by tracing the alphabet on your toe. You can do this up to three times.
  2. Another way is by moving your knee side by side up to three minutes.
  3. You can also put your injured foot on top of a towel. Scrunch the towel forward and backward.

Balance and Control Exercises

You must wait for the cue of your doctor or therapist before doing this activity. Be sure that you are ready for this exercise before you start. Otherwise, you have a tendency to fall again and get another injury.

It is also important to note that this type of exercise is needed to be done at least once per day. Below are the exercises you can do to fix your balance.

  1. By only using your injured foot, stand with your arms on your sides. The first time would make you feel unsteady. Hence, you can stand by a wall or a doorway so in case you become unsteady, you can hold on to those. This activity is done around 60 seconds.
  2. Afterward, move your arms to your chest. Make sure that you are still standing using your injured foot. Try doing this for 60 seconds as well.
  3. Repeat what you have done in step 1.
  4. Repeat what you have done in step 2.

You can still do this workout even if your ankle is fully healed. You can switch from one foot to another if you want to. Doing this activity would reduce the risk of having reinjury. It will also help keep your ankle on both feet strong.

Stretching Exercises

This exercise will focus on your Achilles tendon. This bond of tissues is connected to the calf muscles which are found on the back of your lower leg to the base of your heel. There are two ways of doing this workout: towel stretch and calf stretch.

Calf stretch

To do this activity, you need to stand while facing the wall. Then, place your hands on the said wall. Make sure that your hands are at the same level as your eyes. Afterward, bend your knee until you can feel a stretch in the back side of your leg. Keep this position for 15 to 30 seconds up to four times.

Try doing this position again but this time, the bend should be less compared with the first level. Doing this will stretch another area of the calf muscle.

Towel stretch

This activity requires you to sit while your leg is kept straight. You can, then, put a rolled towel under your foot while you hold the ends of the towel. To start, pull the towel towards you. Make sure that your knee is still straight during this time. Keep doing this for 15 to 30 seconds.

Remember that this exercise will be painful at first so it is best to use caution. Also, consult with your therapist before doing this type of exercise.

A sprained ankle can be painful, especially when it is your first time having this incident. Lucky for you, there are therapies for a sprained ankle that you can do to treat yourself or even prevent yourself from having this injury. Just remember to always consult with your therapist or doctor before trying out any of the aforementioned exercises.

sprained ankle

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