Ankle injuries are as frustrating to deal with as they are common to get. Obviously, the more active your lifestyle is, the more likely you are to have an injury like this but it can happen to anyone. As this isn’t just an injury for professional athletes, it is also something that can happen if you slip getting out of the shower or lose your footing as you go down a flight of stairs.
If you’ve had an injury like this recently, you might be thinking how long does a sprain take to heal and while that will depend on the severity of the injury, the average recovery time is going to be four to six weeks. Once you are starting to feel better, consider doing these exercises to get you up to speed as soon as possible.
While these aren’t going to be something you’ll feel is possible in the immediate days following the injury, ankle circles will both be a good judgment of how your healing is coming along and as a good way to introduce light mobility into your ankle. Ankle circles can be done in various positions, none of which will require pressure on your ankle or balancing.
While either sitting on the couch or laying on the floor, raise your ankle and attempt to rotate your foot in a circular motion. If attempting to do this too soon, it might feel impossibly painful but trying to do ankle circles, both clockwise and counter-clockwise, will get you ready to quickly return to normal.
If your ankle isn’t up to any mobility yet, it’s important to keep the rest of your leg as active as possible. It’s going to seem hard to work out your leg without your ankle involved, but how you’ll do that is with leg raises. These’ll also be from the couch or laying down on the floor and this exercise is as simple as it sounds.
You’ll just need to raise and lower your fully extended legs in short sets and bursts. Don’t overwhelm yourself with this one as overdoing it can cause more problems opposed to helping with the ones you already have. Doing raises like this a couple of times a week will both help in keeping your core tight and your thighs ready for once you are walking again like normal.
During your recovery, there’s going to be a point where your ankle can feel like it’s ready for some pressure but something like going for a walk still feels out of reach. When at that point, the way to reintroduce your ankle to activity in a safe way is by incorporating resistance bands in your rehabilitation routine.
As time passes during your recovery, you’ll be able to increase the resistance (and weight) your ankle can handle. While the exercises that can be with this equipment seem endless, doing something as simple as holding the band’s handles and centering your foot in the band and pushing can be your best friend throughout recovery.