Early Rehab For A Hurt Ankle

A hurt ankle is one of the most common injury when it comes to athletics (source). There are a million ways to hurt your ankle but one way to fix it. I have used this same protocol for high school athletes to elite, professional athletes and everything in between. Before we start, if you just sprained your ankle start here. If you are concerned for a fracture or think you might need an x-ray then start here.

Once full ROM has been restored, I then load the ankle/foot in each range it is capable of:

  • Plantarflexion via calf raises
  • Dorsiflexion via tibialis raises
  • Inversion/eversion via slant board balance work

Calf Raises

  • Complete 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Increase reps before weight
  • Progress from 12-15-20 reps, add weight when 20 is achievable and then restart back at 12 reps
  • Calf raises can be loaded with anything
  • If you don’t have weights, hold literally anything with weight
  • If using both feet is too easy, perform these single leg
  • If single leg is too hard, perform these double leg going up and then come down single leg

Tibialis Raises For A Hurt Ankle

  • See either option as shown above
  • Perform 3 sets of 12.
  • Add reps before you add weight
  • Complete this 3x a week

Inversion/Eversion Strengthening For A Hurt Ankle

  • Complete 3 sets of 30 seconds both directions
  • If the inside of the foot faces the decline, it is inversion focused
  • If the inside of the foot faces the incline, it is eversion focused
  • Progress by adding time to each hold
  • Can add weight to continue to overload