New Delhi: Ankle sprains happen when the ligaments in the foot and ankle are stretched beyond their abilities. When ligaments become stretched and too loose, they become unstable–leading to sprains. Some people with repeated or severe sprains can develop long-term joint pain and weakness. Treating a sprained ankle can help prevent ongoing ankle problems.
These exercises are simple motions you can do up to 5 times per day that can help you maintain your range of motion and flexibility in your ankle.
Sit on a couch or comfortable chair. Extend your leg out and trace the letters of the alphabet in the air with your big toe. If there’s no pain, you can repeat this 2 or 3 times. This gentle exercise helps you to move your ankle in all directions.
Sit in a chair with your foot flat on the floor. Keeping your foot on the floor, slowly move your knee from side to side for 2 to 3 minutes. This stretches and relaxes the ligaments around your ankle.
Towel and tissue scrunches
Place a small towel on the floor in front of you while you sit in a hard chair. With your shoes and socks off, gently grab the towel with your toes, scrunch it up, and count to 5. Then release the towel and repeat. Do this 8 to 10 times— or less if you feel pain.
Standing calf stretch
Stand facing a wall or in front of a countertop and put your hands on it for support. Place your injured ankle about one step back and your good foot forward. Keeping your back heel flat on the floor, slowly bend the knee of your good leg until you feel a moderate stretch in the calf on your injured side. Repeat this 3 times, holding for 30 seconds.
Stand with your hands in front of you, resting against a wall, countertop, or chair back for support. With your feet shoulder-width apart, slowly rise up on your toes and come back down. Do about 10 of these at first and work up to 20 or more. Remember, you only want a moderate stretch and no pain. When these become easy, you can switch to doing it only with the toes on your injured side.