Ankle sprains are fairly common, they can occur while one is doing during activities that involve side-to-side motion, such as squash, tennis or basketball, or even during normal daily activities such as slipping on wet floors. However, even a simple injury such as this can result in further damage and pain if left untreated.
R.I.C.E (Rest Elevation Ice Compression) is the standard treatment for ankle sprains along with painkillers. One must rest the ankle frequently, keep it elevated to the level of the heart or above, ice it and wear compression ankle supports like the Pro 3D Ankle Support at all times. Exercise is another excellent tool for fast recovery from the ankle sprain. Here are a few exercises you can do to accelerate your healing. Remember to start each exercise slowly and ease off if you have more than mild pain.
The range of motion exercises: The first set of exercises one must do after spraining one’s ankle is the range of motion exercises. These gentle exercises stimulate the muscles and tendons and accelerate healing.
- Trace the alphabet with your toe. This will encourage ankle movement in all directions. Trace the alphabet 1 to 3 times.
- Sit in a chair with your foot flat on the floor. Slowly move your knee side to side while keeping your foot pressed flat. Continue for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Towel curls: While sitting, place your foot on a towel on the floor and scrunch the towel toward you with your toes. Then, also using your toes, push the towel away from you.
Stretching exercises: Start stretching exercises as soon as you can do so without pain. This will stretch your Achilles tendon which connects your calf muscles to the bone at the base of the heel. Try any of the two stretches depending on your capacity. The calf stretch if you are able to stand, and the towel stretch if you aren’t.
- Towel stretch: Sit with your leg straight in front of you. Place a rolled towel under the ball of your foot, holding the towel at both ends. Gently pull the towel toward you while keeping your knee straight. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds, and repeat 2 to 4 times. If your sprain is moderate to severe, it may be too painful at first to pull your toes far enough to feel a stretch in your calf. In such cases, be cautious, and only exert yourself to your own limit.
- Calf stretch: Stand facing a wall with your hands on the wall at about eye level. Put the leg you want to stretch about a step behind your other leg. Keeping your back heel on the floor, bend your front knee until you feel a stretch in the back leg. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 2 to 4 times. Repeat the exercise with the back knee bent a little, still keeping your back heel on the floor. This will stretch a different part of the calf muscles.
Persistence, determination and 10 minutes each day are all that is required to heal your ankle to the fullest. Keep at it and soon you will back on your feet, ready to face the world again!