Link to what we think is a great overall explanation of ankle sprains: Anatomy of an Ankle Sprain.
Below are common exercises and braces that you may be considering.
Whether you are recovering from an ankle sprain or suffered an injury a while back, the following exercises can help repair and strengthen injured ligaments.
Each exercise should be done slowly and without pain. This is not medical advice.
This exercise will help to increase your range of motion (ROM). Sit with your foot hanging off the edge of a table or prop it up on some pillows so the ankle is in the air. Then trace the alphabet with your toes. This will encourage movement in all directions.
While seated in a chair with your foot on the ground, take a rolled-up towel and place in the ball of your foot. Gently pull back on both ends of the towel bringing your toes towards you until you feel a light painless stretch. Hold this position for 10 seconds then repeat 3 to 5 times.
If weight bearing is tolerated, stand on the edge of a stair, make sure you have some type of railing or handles to balance yourself. Push off your toes to raise your heels, then lower, returning to the start position. Repeat exercise 15 to 20 times.
If weight bearing can be tolerated, stand on your injured leg while lifting the non-involved leg off the ground. Putting your arms across your chest. Balance on the leg for 60 second. If this is tolerated without discomfort, in the same position, slowly bend the leg you are standing on at the knee 20 to 30 degrees, then immediately return to the upright position. Repeat 15 to 20 times.
If weight bearing can be tolerated, stand upright with equal pressure on both legs. Slowly shift your weight to the side of your injured ankle then return to the center position. Repeat exercise 15 to 20 times.
If weight bearing can be tolerated, stand upright with equal pressure on both legs. Slightly bend your knees 20 to 30 degrees then stand back upright. Repeat exercise 15 to 20 times.
Take a towel. Seated in a chair with your feel on the ground, lift your foot, turn it inward, place it on the towel, then slide the towel outward. Repeat this until you have done the entire length of the towel. Then stretch the towel out on the other side and repeat in the opposite direction.
With the same towel, stretch the towel out on the other side and repeat in the opposite direction
Sitting in a chair with your foot flat on the ground, lift your toes slowly, leaving your heel on the ground, then lower them and repeat 15 to 20 times.
Along with performing these ankle strengthening exercises, if you have weak or unstable ankles, you may seek additional support from an ankle brace. See our options for varying degrees of ankle sprain: