How to Exercise with a Sprained Ankle

Pushing yourself to your limits when exercising can be detrimental if you already have an injured ankle. Push too much and you may end up a lot worse than you started off. However, you don’t have to give up physical activity completely because of your injury. The key is to know how to do it properly.

Rest Is Essential for Ankle Sprain

Just like other injuries, rest is vital to a full recovery. Your ankle needs time to heal, which can be hard because you need it to get around. However, without rest, the injured tissue won’t be able to repair itself. There are many devices designed to give your ankle a break by offering it support. For example, there are walking boots and braces. The area can also be taped in a specific way that provides extra support.

Typically, the earliest part of treatment is the most critical. While crutches may not be needed, you may utilize a walking boot. At this point, when considering how to exercise with a sprained ankle, you need to keep in mind you cannot run, jump, bike, use a treadmill or perform any activity that is considered a pounding exercise. Doing so will impede your recovery and may even make your injury worse.

Rehabilitation Exercises to Do with an Ankle Sprain

To reach a full recovery, rehabilitation exercises are key. If your ankle does not heal all the way, it is more susceptible to being injured again. Simply going for walks is a good start. As you feel stronger, you can bear some of your body weight with the help of crutches. Slowly add more, using your pain level as an indicator on when to stop. If you experience too much pain, stop immediately. You can return to that specific exercise when you have healed longer.

1.       Start with Mobility Exercises

Shortly after your injury, you will learn how to exercise with a sprained ankle. The first of these will be mobility exercises, also known as range of motion. Work your way up to doing them five times a day, applying ice after done. They can be performed while sitting so you can do them in a wide range of environments.

2.       Progress to Stretching Exercises

It is important to begin stretching exercises as soon as possible, as long as you can without it resulting in pain. The Achilles tendon runs from the base of your heel, up your ankle to the calf muscles of your lower leg. This area needs to be strong, as it is vital to movement. Two exercises good for this is the calf stretch and towel stretch, depending on your ability to stand.

3.       Work Towards Strengthening Exercises

As soon as you can tolerate it and pain is at a minimum, you should start incorporating exercises that strengthen your ankle. At first, avoid movements that require sideway actions. You can add these later.

4.       Add Functional Exercises

Once you start gaining strength in your ankle, add functional exercises. These will help you reincorporate certain types of movement like sideway and lateral movements, as well as directional changes.

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