Medically Reviewed by Dr. Rachel N. Verville
December 9, 2019
If you’ve been diagnosed with a sprained ankle by Frisco podiatrist Dr. Verville, she’ll likely prescribe you some rehab exercises to do. The exact start date of when you should begin exercising your injured ankle will depend on the degree of sprain your have. But generally speaking, the type of exercises you’ll need to do to get back into tip-top shape will be calf stretches, heel stretches, leg strengthening exercises, and balance exercises.
Here’s an overview of the types of exercises that fall into each category for rehabbing sprained ankles.
Once Frisco patients have reached a point in their ankle injury recovery that they have regained their range of motion and can put weight on their foot again, they’re typically ready to begin calf muscle stretches. Stretching out tight calves is important for ankle health as these stretches will help protect the ligaments in your ankle.
Here’s Frisco podiatrist Dr. Verville’s go-to calf stretching exercise:
- Stand up facing a wall, and make sure you’re about 2 feet away from it
- Place your hands on the wall, making sure your arms are about shoulder-width apart from one another
- With your toes pointed straight ahead, place one foot in front of the other, keeping your front knee bent so that you feel a nice stretch in the back leg’s calf muscle
- Reverse legs, then repeat
Stretching your heel is also important when recovering from a sprained ankle. Here’s a simple heel stretch exercise you should do about 6 times a day, especially if you’ve been on your feet for a long time or have done a lot of walking:
- Sit down on the floor
- Slightly bend the knee of the leg you will be working
- Loop a small hand towel around the top of your foot
- Gently pull back on the towel, until you feel a nice stretch in your heel and calf muscle
Leg Strengthening Exercises
Strengthening your leg is another important part of recovering from a sprained ankle. Frisco podiatrist Dr. Verville recommends you:
- Do a front “push-out” by placing a chair beside a wall, then while placing your foot flat on the floor, push out against the wall
- Hold this position for 3 seconds, then repeat
Another leg strengthening exercise you can practice is the front “push-up”:
- Stand with your injured foot flat on the floor
- Put the heel of your uninjured foot on top of your injured foot
- Simultaneously push down with your uninjured foot while pushing up with your injured foot
- Hold this position for 3 seconds, then repeat with the other foot
Finally, this “inner push-in” exercise can help strengthen Frisco sprained ankle patients’ legs:
- Place your feet flat on the floor
- Push your feet against each other
- Hold this position for 3 seconds
All 3 of these leg strengthening exercises should be done 20 times each, 3 times a day.
Balancing after spraining an ankle may seem difficult, but it is possible! Here’s an exercise to help you out:
- Stand on one leg for as long as your can, with the goal of standing on it for up to 30 seconds
- Switch legs and repeat
- Perform this balancing exercise 3 to 5 times per day on each leg
Get More Recovery Tips from Dr. Verville
If you need more recovery tips to get you back on your feet after spraining an ankle, it’s time to see local podiatrist Dr. Verville at RNV Podiatry.
To schedule an appointment, call her practice today at (214) 385-8822.