Ankle Physical Therapy

By Drew Heideman, MPT, ATC, PES

Physical Therapy for Sprained Ankle

Ankle Sprain & Ankle Pain

Ankle injuries are very common, whether it is a sprain, strain, or fracture. There are over millions of ankle injuries each year, with the main cause of ankle injuries happening when landing or jumping improperly. Furthermore, the recovery time of an ankle sprain is based on the severity of the injury.

Recovery time for ankle sprains are:

  • Mild: Grade 1: 5-14 days.
  • Moderate: Grade 2: 4-6 weeks.
  • Severe: Grade 3: 8-12 weeks. *could be longer*

During the recovery period, ankle braces and icing will help control the ankle’s swelling and stability. To rule out that you do not have a fracture is to get an X-Ray. Listed below are ankle rehab exercises that we would do for an ankle sprain. These exercises can help you improve your ankle mobility and strength. It is also important to complete these exercises with caution and at a slow rate, not through any pain. A certified physical therapist should give physical Therapy Ankle exercises.

image of anatomy of foot and ankle

Physical Therapy Ankle

Physical Therapy Ankle Exercises

Dorsiflexion

image of Ankle physical therapy Dorsiflexion exercise

Image of ankle dorsiflexion exercise.

Dorsiflexion is lifting your foot towards your shin by moving your foot upwards. Weight could be added to the foot for further resistance as you progress with this exercise.

Plantar Flexion

Image of ankle plantar flexion exercise.

Image of ankle plantar flexion exercise.

Plantar flexion is pointing your foot down towards the ground. Different resistance bands could be added for further progression in physical therapy with this exercise.

Inversion

image of Ankle physical therapy Inversion exercise.

Image of ankle inversion exercise.

Inversion is your foot’s movement towards the medial or mid-line of your body, with the toes pointed upward. When completing the exercise with your left foot, the movement should be going towards your body’s right side. If you use your right foot, the movement should be going towards the left side of your body. Also, for further progression, a resistance band could be added.

Eversion

image of Ankle physical therapy Eversion Exercise.

Image of ankle eversion exercise.

Eversion is moving your foot towards the outside part of your leg. When completing the exercise with your left foot, the movement should be going towards the left side of your body. If you use your right foot, the movement should be going towards the right side of your body. Furthermore, a resistance band could be added for further progression in physical therapy with this exercise.

The Alphabet

image of ankle physical therapy The Alphabet Ankle Exercise.

Image of ankle alphabet exercise.

The alphabet is when you write each letter by moving your foot as if writing the alphabet. Also, for further resistance, a weight could be added as you progress with this exercise.

Dorsiflexion with Resistance Band

Image of the foot with a resistance band.

Image of the foot with a resistance band.

Dorsiflexion with a resistance band is more challenging than the general dorsiflexion exercise. While moving your foot toward your body, make sure your knee is straight. The resistance band will help strengthen other muscles in your shin.

Seated & Standing One Leg Calf-Raises

image of Ankle physical therapy the Sitting Leg Calf Raise.

Image of a seated calf raise.

image of Ankle physical therapy the Standing Calf Raise.

Image of standing calf raises exercise.

One leg calf-raises can either be completed standing or sitting. When completing a calf raise, all of the movement should be coming from the injured ankle. While completing the calf-raise, use your ankle to raise your heel off the ground.

Weight Shifts

image of Ankle physical therapy Weight Shifts.

Image of ankle weight shifts.

Weight shifts are when you are standing up and then shifting some (or all of your body weight) to your injured ankle. This exercise is done early in the rehab program to improve balance and proprioception.

Lateral Stepping with a Cone

Image of lateral stepping between a cone.

Image of lateral stepping between a cone.

Lateral stepping with a cone is when you shift all of your weight to your injured ankle, tapping the cone with the uninjured ankle. After that, step with your other foot to rest. Weight could be added to make it more difficult as you progress with this exercise.

JOI Rehab Ankle Exercises

Ankle Exercises Picture

Physical Therapy Ankle Treatments

If you have persistent pain or stiffness in your ankle, physical therapy can be a helpful option. A physical therapist will evaluate the health of your ankle and the surrounding area to determine any issues.

Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute has the answers for your ankle sprain, strain, or fracture. From world-class physical therapy to some of the top orthopedic surgeons in the country. JOI has the experience to solve your ankle issues. Come see us!

If you are interested in scheduling an appointment at JOI Rehab for physical therapy, go to JOIonline.net or call 904-858-7045.

Related Articles: Ankle Sprains, Ligaments in the Foot and Tendons in the Foot.

Related Video: Basic Ankle Ankle Exercises Video 

To learn more about Direct Access to Physical Therapy without seeing an MD, please read this ARTICLE.

JOI Fracture and Injury Care

JOI Physicians are currently offering ASAP Fracture care. Make an appointment by calling (904)JOI-2000. This is a new option for patients who would like to avoid the emergency room if they have suffered a fracture or soft tissue injury.

Book An Appointment with a JOI Physician

Book An Appointment with a JOI Physician.

By: Drew Heideman, MPT, ATC, PES


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