You may be tempted to “walk off” your ankle injury. However, ignoring your symptoms could lead to joint pain and weakness down the line. Physical therapy can get to the root of your pain from the start, helping you build strength and flexibility over time. The following are some exercises you can do at home to get the most out of these physical therapy appointments.
What Are Some Ankle Exercises You Can Do at Home?
This simple exercise can help strengthen your ankle to help you walk more comfortably. To complete a dorsiflexion, lie on your back on the ground with your feet straight in front of you. Keeping the rest of your leg still, move the ankle so your toes point toward your body. Hold this for 15 seconds before returning your foot to a neutral position. Repeat this three to five times, then switch to the other ankle.
2. Inversion & Eversion
To help your ankle move side-to-side more effectively, try an inversion and eversion exercise. To complete an inversion, move your ankle inward so your toes are pointing toward your other leg. Hold for 15 seconds, then switch to the other foot. An eversion is the opposite motion, so move your ankle to the outside and hold.
3. Range of Motion
In addition to stretching and strengthening the muscles and tendons, you want to preserve your range of motion. You will likely learn exercises specific to your injury at your physical therapy appointments. One basic range of motion exercise is to write the alphabet with your foot. You can do so while sitting in a chair or lying on the floor. Write the letters of the alphabet in the air with your toes, then switch to the other foot. If you experience any sharp pain in certain positions, tell your physical therapist.
4. Towel Stretch
It’s crucial to keep your ankles loose and stretched between physical therapy appointments. This basic stretch can help loosen the Achilles tendon and calf. Sit on the floor and stretch one leg in front of you. Roll up a towel and place it under the ball of your foot, then grip the ends of the towel in each hand. Gently pull the ends of the towel toward your body until you feel a light stretch. Hold this for up to 30 seconds, then switch to the other leg.
If you have experienced an ankle injury, the team at The Road Home Therapy Center can help you get back on your feet. Located in Church Point, LA, this team provides quality physical therapy services for patients of all ages. They also offer occupational, short-term, and speech therapy. Your physical therapist will curate your treatment to fit your needs, giving your exercises to complete at home as well. Whether you are recovering from surgery or are injured, visit their website to view a full list of services. You can also call (337) 684-6318 to make an appointment.