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  • Writer's picturejacob sciacca

Effective Rehabilitation for Ankle Rolls

Ankle rolls, also known as ankle sprains, are among the most common sports injuries. They can occur during everyday activities as well, leading to pain, swelling, and reduced mobility. Proper rehabilitation is key to recovering fully and preventing future injuries. This blog will guide you through understanding ankle rolls, immediate care steps, and effective rehab strategies.


An ankle roll occurs when the foot twists, rolls, or turns beyond its normal range of motion, causing damage to the ligaments that support the ankle joint. The severity of an ankle roll can range from mild ligament stretching to severe ligament tears.

Common Causes:

  • Sports Injuries: High-impact sports or activities that involve sudden changes in direction can lead to ankle rolls.

  • Uneven Surfaces: Walking or running on uneven surfaces increases the risk of an ankle sprain.

  • Inadequate Footwear: Wearing shoes that do not provide adequate support can make the ankle more susceptible to rolling.

  • Previous Injuries: Having a history of ankle sprains can weaken the ligaments, making future sprains more likely.


  • Pain: Varies depending on the severity of the sprain, usually located on the outside of the ankle.

  • Swelling and Bruising: The ankle may swell immediately after the injury, and bruising can develop over the next few days.

  • Limited Mobility: Difficulty walking or bearing weight on the affected foot.

  • Instability: A feeling of looseness or instability in the ankle joint.

Physiotherapy Techniques: Rehabilitation is crucial for restoring strength and preventing future injuries. A physiotherapist can guide you through the following stages:

  1. Acute Phase:

  • Pain Management: Continue with R.I.C.E., and use anti-inflammatory medications if necessary.

  • Gentle Movements: Begin with gentle range-of-motion exercises to prevent stiffness.

  1. Subacute Phase:

  • Strengthening Exercises: Focus on exercises to strengthen the muscles around the ankle. Examples include towel curls, resistance band exercises, and toe raises.

  • Balance and Proprioception: Exercises like standing on one foot, balance boards, and agility drills can help improve balance and proprioception, reducing the risk of future sprains.

  1. Functional Phase:

  • Sport-Specific Drills: If the individual is an athlete, incorporate sport-specific drills to ensure they are ready to return to their activity.

  • Endurance and Agility: Progress to more dynamic exercises, including running, jumping, and lateral movements.

Preventing Future Injuries:

  • Proper Footwear: Wear supportive shoes that are appropriate for your activity.

  • Warm-Up: Always warm up before engaging in physical activity to prepare your muscles and joints.

  • Strength and Balance Training: Regularly perform exercises that strengthen the ankle and improve balance.


Ankle rolls are common but with the right rehabilitation strategy, you can recover fully and reduce the risk of future injuries. If you’ve experienced an ankle roll, consider consulting a physiotherapist to develop a tailored rehab plan that will help you get back on your feet safely and effectively.

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