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Exercises: What are some suitable exercises for the ankle?


These exercises are described by Lynda and are very suitable for mobilizing the ankle at various stages during recovery from an ankle or tib/fib fracture.

Here are some physical therapy exercises I have used following my tib/fib incident.  I have posted them several times for others so you could get them from the board but why should you have to work so hard.  Elle has others which I haven't tried so you might look at some of her posts or just ask her.   They involve towels, as I recall.

Anyway, here you go: 
Alphabets - This exercise can be done to increase range of motion in the ankle and does not require that you be weight bearing.

Support your leg on a stool, chair, table, etc. with your foot and ankle hanging free.  
Trace the alphabet in block letters with your foot, making the letters as large as possible.  Try to move the foot from the ankle, not the whole leg.

Start with 2 reps and increase as necessary.  Repeat every couple of hours.

Tennis Ball - This exercise can be done to increase range of motion in the ankle and does not require that you be weight bearing.

Place a tennis ball on the floor and your bare foot on top of the ball.  Place the ball under the arch area of your foot.  Roll your foot forward until the toes touch the floor then back until your heel touches the floor. 
Then roll your foot from side to side.  You won't be able to touch the floor, but stretch as far as you can. 
Start with 12 reps each way and increase as necessary.  This is a great exercise for flexibility.  Repeat every couple of hours.

Marbles - This is a dexterity exercise that can be done prior to being weight bearing.

Place 12 marbles of varying sizes on the floor and using one toe at a time, pick up one marble at a time and move it at least 12" and set it down (don't drop it - that's cheating).  Then move each marble back to the starting point.

Repeat twice each way.  Repeat twice daily.

Heel Lifts 1 - This exercise should not be attempted until you're fully weight bearing and walking.  It is excellent for building up the muscles needed to tackle stairs.

Stand on the floor and rise up on your tiptoes while holding onto something so you don't fall. 
Repeat 12 times.  Repeat every couple of hours.

Once you have mastered heel lifts from the floor, move to Heel Lifts 2.  This time rest your heels on the floor and the balls of your feet on a heavy book, box, bricks - something that will support your weight and not tip over. 
Raise up on your tiptoes as in Heel lifts 1.

Start with 12 reps and increase as desired. 

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 31 May 2020
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