If you have suffered a broken ankle, you may benefit from the skilled services of a Palmdale Physical Therapist to help you in returning to optimal function once your fracture has fully healed.
Your local Palmdale Physical Therapist may use an assortment of treatments and modalities to help control your pain or swelling or to improve the way your ankle moves.
Therapeutic exercise is one of your main treatments to give you a helping hand with restoring mobility after an ankle fracture. In addition, your physical therapist can prescribe the correct exercises for you to do at the right stage of healing to make sure that you can return to optimal mobility safely and almost right away.
Moreover, your Palmdale Physical Therapist will most likely prescribe a specific exercise program during your ankle fracture rehabilitation. The goals of the program are to assist you with improve ankle mobility, strength, and overall function.
Prior to performing any exercise program for your broken ankle, check in with your doctor to make sure that exercise is safe for you to do.
Range of Motion Exercises
Ankle range of motion (ROM) exercises are one of the first things your local Palmdale Physical Therapist will prescribe once you get out of your cast or brace after an ankle fracture.
Your Palmdale Physical Therapist may passively move your ankle joint through an assortment of motions, and he or she may have you actively move your ankle to improve the motion around the joint.
Some simple exercises to do to improve your ankle ROM may include moving your ankle by pointing your toes up and down as far as possible, and moving your foot in and out, motions called inversion and eversion.
Another fun exercise to do to improve ankle ROM after a fracture is to do ankle alphabet. Our Palmdale Physical Therapist suggest you just pretend that your toes are a pencil, and draw letters with your foot by moving your ankle. Draw each letter slowly and deliberately in both upper and lower case.
This can be performed a handful of times per day. As a result, expect to feel a little pain, but stop the exercises if you feel any lasting, intense pain. If that occurs, make sure to check in with your Palmdale Physical Therapist or doctor.
Once you have perfected ROM exercises, it is time to begin to improve ankle flexibility with the next exercise.
To help improve muscular flexibility around your ankle after a fracture, our Palmdale Physical Therapist say you can perform an assortment of different exercises.
Towel calf stretching for example can improve the flexibility of the muscles on the back of your lower leg.
Simply wrap a towel around your toes and give a slow, gentle pull to stretch your calf. Standing runner’s stretches can also be done to improve the flexibility of your calf.
To stretch the muscle on the front of your ankle, our Palmdale Physical Therapist will perform the kneeling anterior tibialis stretch. Do this, simple kneel down with your ankle and toes pointed, and gently press upon your foot to stretch the front of your lower leg.
Hold each stretch for 15 to 30 seconds, and then move on to the next exercise group: ankle strengthening.
After a period of immobilization in a cast or brace, you may notice that the muscles around your ankle have become drastically weakened. This happens often after an ankle fracture, and your Palmdale Physical Therapist will likely prescribe exercises to help better your ankle strength.
You can use a resistance band to perform ankle strengthening exercises. Simply play the band around your toes, and have someone hold it as you move your ankle into dorsiflexion, plantarflexion, inversion, and eversion. Perform 15 to 20 repetitions of each exercise, and stop if you feel any sharp pains.
Once you have gained some strength, you can begin weight-bearing exercises for your ankles.
Return to Walking and Running
After an ankle fracture, you may be having difficulty returning to normal walking. Your local Palmdale Physical Therapist may have you perform various gait training exercises such as stepping over and around obstacles to improve the way you walk.
He or she can also help you choose the correct assistive device, such as crutches or a cane, as your gait changes and improves.
Many individuals wonder if returning to running after an ankle fracture is a possibility. This mainly depends on the severity of your injury and how things have healed, so check in with your doctor prior to attempting to run to make sure it is safe for you to do.