How to rehab ankle sprains
You have sprained your ankle and gone through the initial management using the RICE principals. Now you can walk quite well but might have a little bit of stiffness. Now it is time to get the ankle really strong again so you can get back to your sport and prevent this from happening again.
Strong calves help to make running, jumping and landing easier and safer. Everyone who is playing a sport or regularly running should have strong calves. You should aim to be able to do 30 single leg calf raises. Aim to do even more repetitions than 30! If your maximum with good control is 10, start at 10 and slowly work your way up.
Go fast on the way up and slow on the way down. The weight of your body should feel like they are on the first two toes. Make sure to do them with good control and technique.
The progression from calf raises is hopping. This exercise will help to further strengthen the calves and to improve your jumping and landing technique. Do them quickly, stay on the toes, and try to do 80-100 in a row. You can start with 20 or 30 and slowly work your way up to the higher numbers.
Balance is very important for preventing future ankle sprains. Good balance means you can trust your ankle and foot to do what you need it to do. Good balance means you will be able to land safely and not roll your ankle again.
Stand on your good leg and see how long you can hold it for. Now do this on the injured ankle and you will find it a lot wobblier. Once you can stand on one leg for 30 seconds, try it with your eyes closed. When you can do this comfortably, add a cushion underneath your foot.
Rehabilitation should always be guided by your physiotherapist. They can help to progress your exercises when they get too easy.
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