If you’ve ever had a sprained ankle you know just how painful they can be. Sometimes they can feel as if you’ve broken bones or torn ligaments but all you’ve done is twisted, or sprained, the ankle severely. Once your ankle sprain has finally healed, you may be susceptible to reinjuring the ankle if you do not take a few precautions. Here are four ways you can protect your ankle from reinjuring it after you’ve healed from the ankle sprain itself.
Wear a Brace
If it’s only been a few weeks since you hurt your ankle, wearing a brace for a month or two while you’re exercising is a good idea. It will help to support the ankle during vigorous activity that might otherwise reinjure you. The semi-rigid type brace is best for right after you’ve injured yourself and you’re healed. It will offer the necessary support and protection during running, walking and other exercise. There are also other wraps and braces you can use to support your ankle during the time of gaining your strength back such as air filled or lace braces.
Work on balancing on your foot that you injured. By practicing balancing exercises on that leg it helps to strengthen the leg and ankle to protect it from injury. Start out by only balancing on the leg for around 30 seconds or so. You can slowly increase this time as you gain more strength in the muscles. This should be done no less than three times a day and can be done more if you’re ankle is holding up to it.
You should also perform heel raises to help strengthen the ankle. You can do these from a seated position or you can do them standing. Just as with the balance work, start by doing the heel raises and stretches for at least 30 seconds at a time and increase to three minutes or more as you gradually hold it longer.
Other types of exercises you can use to help prevent an ankle sprain are toe raises, ankle circles and using steps to gain strength back in the ankle that was injured. You can also practice in and out motions where you turn your ankle as far in as you can and hold then turn it back out and hold. Adding in resistance to the in and out motion can also help you build strength back in the joint and ligaments.
These are just a few ways to help you gain strength and protect yourself from having another sprained ankle.