While sprained ankles need time to heal, it is also essential to strengthen the muscles around the ankle to help it recover and forestall further sprains. Most people can start exercising their sprained ankle after a few days of rest for minor or moderate sprains. Simple motion exercises and strength training help the ankle heal appropriately. Tailoring other workouts around the sprained ankle is vital to avoid reinjury or overworking the ankle.
Immediately after an ankle injury, the most crucial factor will be rest. Once doctors diagnose a sprained ankle, the person should rest for a few days. A few home cures may aid recovery. Elevating the foot may help reduce swelling. Placing an ice pack wrapped in a towel on the area for about 10 minutes every few hours can also help reduce swelling and pain. Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol), can also help with the pain. A few rest days are usually enough for most people with mild to moderate sprains. After a few days, the person may begin gentle exercises to help rehabilitate the ankle. Healing of the ligaments usually takes about six weeks.
Ankle Exercises and Guidelines
The ankle is a complex joint. Recovery from an ankle injury will require the person to focus on four factors:
- Range of motion
Each of these functions is crucial for a healthy ankle joint. Various exercises will zero in on one or more of these factors. Exercise therapy is an essential part of the healing system. A survey presented in the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed substantial proof that exercise therapy can help treat an ankle sprain. Exercise helps strengthen the ankle and forestall recurring sprains or other issues. While a person may encounter slight discomfort while doing these exercises, they shouldn’t cause pain. Anyone who feels pain while exercising ought to stop and rest the ankle.
Exercises for Ankle Sprain
- Range of motion: Following an injury, the ankle will be firm and have a restricted range of motion. It is essential to perform exercises to help restore a normal range of motion.
- Ankle circles: A short range of motion exercise involves making clockwise and counterclockwise circles with the foot and ankle. To do this exercise, sit in a comfortable chair or on the sofa, holding your foot off the ground. Begin by leisurely making large circles, clockwise, with your foot and ankle. Perform ten repetitions and then repeat moving counterclockwise.
- Drawing or writing with the ankle: Another effective range of motion exercise involves drawing or writing letters, numbers, or other characters with the foot. To do this exercise, sit in a comfortable chair or on the couch, holding your foot off the ground. Trace each alphabet letter in the air with the foot, using the big toe as a cursor or pencil. Repeat the entire alphabet three times if this exercise does not cause pain.
- Knee motion: Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Without raising the foot, gently move the leg at the knee from side to side. Do this for 3 minutes if it causes no pain.
- Strength: The ankle must be vital to help support the body’s weight when a person undertakes daily activities. Strength training is crucial, but it is essential to follow a doctor’s instructions about when to start this exercise stage. Usually, a person can begin strength training once they can stand on the ankle without pain or increasing swelling.
- Towel curls: Sitting on a hard chair, such as a kitchen chair, place a hand towel on the floor in front of the chair. With bare feet, use the toes to grab the towel. Hold this position for 5 seconds and release. Repeat this action ten times if it does not cause pain. Another form of this activity is to use the foot to pick up marbles from the ground and place them in a cup.
- The band pushes: Sit flat on the floor with the legs in front of the body. Place a resistance band or towel around the ball of the foot. Push against the band so that the toes point slightly forward. Repeat this ten times.
- Wall pushes: Sit on the floor with the feet straight in front of the body, resting against the wall. Bend the other leg and go against the wall with the healing potion. Hold this position for 6 seconds before relaxing. Repeat ten times.
- Heel raises: Stand behind a chair and place your hands on the back of the chair for support. Place the feet flat on the ground, shoulder-width apart, slowly rise onto the toes and then come back down.
Once a person has mastered this, they can move on to more challenging balance exercises. Variations may include balancing on the healing leg while:
- moving the head from side to side
- slightly bending and straightening the knee
- the eyes are closed
These exercises are trickier but can help train the leg to balance correctly.
- Gentle cardiovascular exercises: While it is vital to do workouts that specifically target the ankle, finding ways to strengthen and train the rest of the body is also essential. It is still possible to do some cardio training while recovering from a sprained ankle.
- Protection for your ankle: Sometimes, doctors may recommend temporary shelter for the ankle as it recovers. It may include elastic wraps to hold the foot and ankle in place or stiffer braces to support the ankle and keep it in the correct position while it heals. Severe sprains may require complex casting.
What to do for Repeated Sprains?
Anyone experiencing repeated sprains in the same ankle may require additional support. It may include using ankle braces while doing activities that pressure the ankle. Certain individuals may expect a medical procedure to stabilize the joint. It may require a long investment for the ankle to heal from the medical procedure completely, and an individual may have to go through intensive rehabilitation.
Ankle sprains are common as many regular activities and sports put the ankle under a great deal of pressure. Regardless of whether someone encounters a minor sprain, they should see a doctor for a total diagnosis. It can help guarantee brief treatment and recovery. After a few days of rest, most people can begin exercises intended for a sprained ankle. Total recovery time relies upon various factors, such as how serious the sprain is and the way that persistent the person is with treatment. Are you searching for the best physiotherapist in Ahmedabad to defeat all your issues? Contact Dr.Niraj Patel (physiotherapist).