Ankle Exercises for Rehabilitation

Following ankle injuries, it is as important to follow your caregivers instructions for regaining full use of your ankle as it was to follow the initial treatment plan following the injury. The following are some suggestions for exercises and treatment, which can be done to help you regain full use of your ankle as soon as possible.

  • Follow all instructions regarding physical therapy.

  • Before exercising, it may be helpful to use heat on the muscles or joint being exercised. This loosens up the muscles and tendons (cord like structure) and decreases chances of injury during your exercises. If this is not possible just begin your exercises slowly to gradually warm up.

  • Stand on your toes several times per dayto strengthen the calf muscles. These are the muscles in the back of your leg between the knee and the heel. The cord you can feel just above the heel is the Achilles tendon. Rise up on your toes several times repeating this three to four times per day. Do not exercise to the point of pain. If pain starts to develop, decrease the exercise until you are comfortable again.

  • Do range of motion exercises. This means moving the ankle in all directions. Practice writing the alphabet with your toes in the air. Do not increase beyond a range that is comfortable.

  • Increase the strength of the muscles in the front of your leg by raising your toes and foot straight up in the air. Repeat this exercise as you did the calf exercise with the same warnings. This also help to stretch your muscles.

  • Stretch your calf muscles also by leaning against a wall with your hands in front of you. Put your feet a few feet from the wall and bend your knees until you feel the muscles in your calves become tight.

  • After exercising it may be helpful to put ice on the ankle to prevent swelling and improve rehabilitation. This may be done for 15 to 20 minutes following your exercises. If exercising is being done in the work place, this may not always be possible.

  • Taping an ankle injury may be helpful to give added support following an injury. It also may help prevent re-injury. This may be true if you are in training or in a conditioning program. You and your caregiver can decide on the best course of action to follow.