Lateral ankle sprains commonly occur during (but are not limited to) sporting activities such as netball, basketball, AFL and soccer. We do see a Monsoon’s dance-floor related ankle sprain on the odd occasion too!
Regardless of the initial mechanism of trauma, 40% of first-time lateral ankle sprains develop chronic ankle instability within 1 year (Doherty et al, 2016).
KEY MESSAGE: "Simple" ankle sprains aren't so simple. Just because your ankle "feels better" after a couple of weeks, does not automatically mean that your ROM, strength, balance and power has returned to normal to the level required to perform your favourite activity/sport. It is important to complete strength and stability work to decrease the likelihood of long-term ankle instability/re-injury.
In order to safeguard your ankles, here are some ankle sprain rehab exercises to try:
- Step ups
- Single/double leg calf raise
- Calf (soleus) raise
- Calf stretching
A physiotherapist can guide you through a tailored program to get you back to your functional best.