If you’ve recently suffered an ankle sprain, you’re probably feeling frustrated and anxious to get back to your normal activities. The good news is that with some time and dedication to rehab exercises, you’ll be back on your feet in no time.
Here are some stretching exercises to get you started:
Exercise #1: Towel Stretch
This stretch is great for working the muscles and tendons around the ankle. To do this stretch, you’ll need a towel or resistance band. Sit on the ground with your legs straight out in front of you. Wrap the towel around the bottom of one foot and hold on to both ends of the towel.
Gently pull the towel toward you while keeping your leg straight. You should feel a stretch in your calf muscle. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and then repeat with the other leg.
Exercise #2: Heel Drops
Heel drops are a simple but effective way to strengthen the muscles and ligaments in your ankle. To do this exercise, stand on a step with your heel hanging off the edge. Gently lower your heel until it’s below the level of the step, then raise it back up so that you’re standing on your toes.
Repeat this motion 10-15 times before moving on to the other leg. As your ankle gets stronger, you can add weight by holding a dumbbell in your hand or wearing a weighted vest.
Exercise #3: Balance Training
Ankle sprains often occur when we roll our ankles while walking or running on uneven ground. To prevent this from happening again, it’s important to do balance training exercises to improve proprioception (balance and joint position sense).
A simple balance exercise is to stand on one leg for 30 seconds without letting your foot touch the ground. As this becomes easier, you can make the exercise more challenging by closing your eyes or standing on an unstable surface like a foam pad or stability ball.
With some time and dedication to rehab exercises, you’ll be back on your feet in no time following an ankle sprain. By doing simple stretches and targeted strengthening exercises like heel drops and balance training, you can improve proprioception while preventing future injuries.
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