An ankle sprain normally implies a straining, stretching or tearing of ligaments on the outside of the ankle.
Once weakened, the ankle is susceptible to further injuries because the ankle joint is less stable.
Foot Trainer exercises focus on improving the stability (strength and flexibility) of muscles that control ankle movement.
Exercises for Ankle Sprains
Foot training exercises are effective for ankle because they allow you to systematically strengthen and stretch every muscle that controls movement of your feet.
Foot training exercises for ankle sprains consist of a progression through 3 levels (isometric, isokinetic and concentric) and 5 exercises. They allow you to start with basic exercises and gradually build up to more advanced exercises at your own pace.
The following are 2 examples of foot training ankle exercises.
1. Ankle Abductor Muscle Exercise
The pictures above show how to contract the muscles that move your feet outward.
Cross over the handles and then move them back until you feel the rubber pads touch the outside/bottom of your feet.
Slowly move your feet outward while you resist with the foot training device.
2. Ankle Adductor Muscle Exercise
The above pictures show how to contract the muscles that move your ankles inward.
Place the rubber pads below your toes.
Cross over the handles and then move the Foot Trainers forward until you feel the rubber pads on the inside/top of your feet.
Slowly move your feet inward while you resist with the Foot Trainers.
Incorrect Exercises for Ankle Sprains
If you perform ineffective exercises you may face a progression of expensive, painful and invasive treatments and a long recovery!
Many of the traditional foot and leg exercises are incorrect, incomplete, inappropriate and therefore ineffective.
The following are some of the traditional rehabilitation exercises that we do not recommend and the reasons why we believe they are incorrect.
The Towel or Rope Stretch
In a sitting position you loop a towel or rope around your toes and pull on the towel. This is incorrect because again, it promotes shortening and tightening your short/tight toe flexor muscles. This exercise is the opposite of what you should be doing!
All Standing Exercises are Incorrect!
The Heel Drop Exercise
A potentially dangerous exercise is dropping your heels off a step because you are weight bearing while performing it and you can drop down below your normal range of motion.
This can promote chronic tearing and damage to the knee, gastronemius, flexor digitorum brevis and the flexor halcius brevis muscles and inflammation to the achilles tendon and the plantar fascia. Even in healthy people this can cause problems. Anyone who has a foot or leg injury and performs this exercise will likely make their problem worse!
Where you stand in a weight bearing position and then rock back on your heels so that your toes come off the ground.
Where you stand and place one foot against a wall and then move your foot up so your toes are off the ground.
Where you stand on both feet behind a chair and then rise up on your toes so that your heels come off the ground.
Stretching Terminology Errors
It is incorrect terminology if you perform an exercise designed to stretch your achilles tendon or plantar fascia. Nobody can safely stretch a tendon or a ligament. Tendons and ligaments are composed of very inelastic collagen fibers that cannot elongate more than 3% without rupturing.
You do not want to stretch a tendon you want to reduce the tension being forced on it. The only way only natural way to reduce the tension on a tendon is to improve the strength and flexibility of its related and opposing muscles.
Ankle sprains require that the patient be active in their rehabilitation. Performing this routine for 3-4 weeks has shown excellent results with our customers.
Perform Foot Trainer Exercises in the morning.
Self massage lower legs for 5 minutes, concentrating on tender areas.
Ice your tender areas for 5 minutes. Do not apply ice directly on your skin. Use a damp cloth or a gel pack.
Rest after icing for 5-10 minutes.
Repeat again sometime during the day before bed.