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Rehab Exercises for Faster Ankle Recovery

Rehab Exercises for Faster Ankle Recovery

Almost everyone has experienced an ankle injury, from a mild strain to major ligament damage. Most people would want to recover as quickly as possible so that they can get back to their daily activities.

Here's are some basic steps of ankle injury rehabilitation and when you can resume your daily activities.


The early treatment of an ankle sprain is "RICE" which focused on reducing ankle swelling and alleviating pain:

  • Rest: The first 24-48 hours after the injury is considered a critical treatment period and activities need to be limited. Gradually put as much weight on the involved ankle as tolerated and discontinue crutch use when you can walk without a limp.
  • Ice: Ice application is effective to reduce swelling and alleviate pain. While ice packs can be helpful, there are special ice wraps" that are made to mold to the joint.
  • Compression: Use compression in the early phase of ankle sprain treatment. Using an Ace bandage, wrap the ankle from the toes all the way up to the top of the calf muscle, overlapping the elastic wrap by one-half of the width of the wrap. The wrap should be snug, but not cutting off circulation to the foot.
  • Elevation: Keep your sprained ankle higher than your heart as often as possible. This can also help to dramatically reduce swelling. Keep in mind, propping your ankle on a chair while you are sitting up does not elevate above your heart.

To ensure that this program is safe and effective for you, it should always be performed under your doctor's supervision. Talk to your doctor or physiotherapist about which exercises will be the best help for you to meet your rehabilitation goals.

When ankles are sprained badly enough they undergo a certain amount of stretching that can never be undone. This makes them more susceptible to further sprains down the road.

In order to try and reduce the likelihood of subsequent injury, it is important to partake in dynamic balance exercises and re-train ankle stability. This includes low-level perturbations like a KB pass and higher level things like reactive jumps.

Ankle rehab by dreamchaserr.__

Ankle DORSIFLEXION Mobility by @dr.caleb.burgess


Ankle DORSIFLEXION mobility is important for many movements, including walking, running, squatting, jumping, stairs, etc. Stretching and strengthening the calf muscles can help, but often the limiting factor is stiffness within the ankle JOINT itself

Perform high reps (20+) and hold 1-2 seconds per rep
Follow the exercise by performing the movement that you want to improve and add external LOAD to the movement if tolerable

Key Points:

  • Keep your toes pointing STRAIGHT ahead and not flaring outward...maintain this position throughout the exercise (heel should not get pulled INWARD or toes OUTWARD)
  • Maintain “arch” of the foot throughout the exercise...if you have trouble, place a small rolled up towel under your arch to help maintain its position
  • Keep heel down on the ground throughout

Sprain Ankle Rehab by @strengthcoachtherapy


This video shows five exercises that athletes use to work on stability, muscular timing and coordination, tri-planar deceleration, and proprioception.

One note: these exercises are also great for other body parts, not just the ankle.

Tips to Protect Your Ankles

  • Warm up. Do ankle stretches before playing sports or exercising.
  • Take your time when you walk on cracked sidewalks or uneven surfaces.
  • Wear sensible shoes. Select shoes that are suited to the activity you are doing.
    • For walking and running look for shoes cushioned at the heel and arch.
    • For court sports, choose ones that are wider and flatter.
    • Pick boots that support your foot and ankle for hiking or working on uneven land.
  • Always consider adding shoe inserts to keep your arch supported and ankle lined up the way it should be.
  • Stop wearing High Heels. Wearing high heels is one of the biggest causes of ankle sprains among women.



3D Ankle Support:



  • Maffulli N and Ferran NA. "Management of Acute and Chronic Ankle Instability" J. Am. Acad. Orthop. Surg., October 2008; 16: 608 - 615.
  • American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society: “How to Strengthen Your Ankle After a Sprain.”
  • Nemours Foundation: “Ankle Sprains.”
  • Sydney Sports Medicine Center: “Ankle Sprain Rehabilitation.”
  • American Physical Therapy Association: “6 Balance Exercises You Can Safely Perform at Home.”

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