Recovering from an ankle injury: weeks 2-6
This is the second part of our ankle blogs discussing how to progress your rehabilitation beyond the first two weeks following an ankle injury, in particular an ankle sprain to the lateral ligaments.
Weeks 3-6 following an ankle injury should involve:
Strengthening the muscles around the ankle and affected leg
Often with a sprained ankle the calf muscles will become weaker as well as the strength of the muscles around the hip on the affected side.
- Try a few of these exercises:
- Bilateral heel raises: Start in a standing position with your feet at hips-width apart. Keeping your knees straight, rise on to your toes. Return to the starting position, controlling the movement as you lower your heels to the ground.
- Progress to single leg heel raises as you become stronger.
- Squats: Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees and hips pushing your hips back behind you and leaning your body forwards, as though you are about to sit on the chair. Do not allow your knees to travel in front of your toes. Keep your weight on your heels, not your toes. At the bottom of the squat, tense your buttocks, lift and straighten back up to the start position.
- Stretching the muscles around the ankle. Try some calf stretches and general stretches around the hip.
- Continue taping. The best taping for sprained lateral ligaments of the ankle will be stirrups, figure six and the heel lock.
- Progressing balance work. Try these:
- Single leg standing; firstly, with eyes open for 30 seconds then progress to eyes closed for 10 seconds
- hopping on the spot x 10. Progress to 3 sets
- progress to side to side hopping x10
If you experience any excessive and unexplained pain, make sure you visit your doctor or physiotherapist. Wishing you the best for a full and speedy recovery, Deb.