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Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Rehab exercises for ankle sprains

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We've already written about ankle sprains and how to possibly prevent them through strengthening and proprioceptive training. I recently came across some rehabilitation exercises which can also help.

Make sure you are past the acute stage of injury and can fully weight the injured ankle before undertaking these exercises. Do the exercises in bare feet to start with, and on flat, even, ground. Start with stepping in the configurations shown and build up to hopping.

Continue with the direction and step configuration for 1-2 minutes on each leg
Using the different change of directions places multiple stresses on various structures of the ankle, thereby providing all round strengthening. Ensure you do each configuration starting on each foot.

It's hard to say do these for X number of days or X times. Only you know when your ankle feels stronger, and in addition people heal at different rates. Don't rush your rehabilitation - it's better to be conservative, reducing the risk of re-injury. Saying that, you have to put in some hard work and integrate rehab exercises into your daily training (and rest) programme.

Once you are ready to move on you can start to introduce changes in terrain (e.g. grass, sand) and then do drills with running in a circle, figure of eights, plus hill work and different cambers. Finally, remember the hedgehog for proprioceptive training - see the other blog linked at the top if you need a reminder!

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