Ankle Sprain - Phase 3: Return To Optimal Level Of Function

The goal of this last phase is to bring back the optimum prior level of function that has been impaired from the sprain. This happens at about 4-6 weeks after Injury. If swelling and pain have already subsides, you can progress to strengthening exercise by adding resistance to the “TheraBand” for foot exercise in long sitting position. At this stage, exercises to increase ankle stimulation and joint awareness is also initiated to improve balance and prevent recurrent ankle sprain.

Getting You Back On Track

To get you going again, A holistic approach to recovery is needed. Back to Sport recommends a continuation of these Range of Motion and Strengthening therapeutic exercises from the Tissue Response—Repair and Healing Phase but with Increasing Intensity (From Yellow Theraband up to Grey) and client sport specific training.

Range of Motion Exercises

Ankle Dorsiflexion: Position and Procedure

Rest the heel of the injured foot on the floor. Pull your toes and foot toward your body as far as possible -pain free range. Release. Do this exercises for 10 repetitions with 3 sets

Ankle Plantarflexion: Position and Procedure

Rest the heel of the injured foot on the floor. point them away from the body as far as possible in a-pain free range then release. Do this exercises for 10 repetitions with 3 sets

Ankle Eversion: Position and Procedure

Keep the knees still and just turn the foot outward, not allowing the thigh and leg to abduct or externally rotate.Do this exercises for 10 repetitions with 3 sets

Ankle Inversion: Position and Procedure

Keep the legs stationary and only turn the foot inward without allowing the hip to adduct and internally rotate.Do this exercises for 10 repetitions with 3 sets

Photo from: Shore foot& Ankle

Foot Ankle Alphabet

You will gently move the ankle through all of its ranges of motion by writing the alphabet in the air with the affected foot.Do this exercises for 10 repetitions with 3 sets

Progression of Theraband

Progress the Intensity of your Theraband from one color to another if you were able to complete 10 repetitions of exercise without difficulty.

Red to Gold Theraband Ankle Resistance exercise

Press down, pull back. Loop an elasticized band or tubing around the foot, holding it gently taut.. Press your toes away and down. Hold for a few seconds. Do this for 10 times in 3 sets .

Tie one end of the band to a table or chair leg (B). Loop the other end around your foot. Slowly pull the foot toward you. Hold for a few seconds.Do this for 10 times in 3 sets

To resist eversion, place a loop of elastic tubing around both feet and evert one or both feet against the resistance. Keep the knees still and just turn the foot outward, not allowing the thigh and leg to abduct or externally rotate.Do this for 10 times in 3 sets

To resist inversion, tie the elastic band or tubing to a structure on the lateral side of the foot. Again, Keep the legs stationary and only turn the foot inward without allowing the hip to adduct and internally rotate.Do this for 10 times in 3 sets


Flexibility Exercises for the Ankle Region

Initiation and Progression of Stretching Restricted motion during the acute stage and adherence of the developing scar usually cause decreased flexibility in the healing tissue and related structures in the region. To increase mobility and stimulate proper alignment of the developing scar, initiate stretching techniques that are specific to the tissues involved. More than one technique may have to be used to regain the ROM

Increase Dorsiflexion of the Ankle The muscles that restrict dorsiflexion of the ankle are the one-joint soleus and the two-joint gastrocnemius. To effectively stretch the gastrocnemius, the knee must be extended while dorsiflexing the ankle. To isolate stretch to the soleus, the knee must be flexed during dorsiflexion to take tension off the gastrocnemius.

Position and procedure:

Long-sitting (knees extended) or with the knees partially flexed. Strongly dorsiflex the feet, attempting to keep the toes relaxed. Do this for 30 Seconds hold times 3 sets

Position and procedure:

Standing on an inclined board with feet pointing upward and heels downward Greater stretch occurs if you lean forward. Because the body weight is on the heels, there is little stretch on the long arches of the feet. Little effort is required to maintain this position for extended periods


Apply Kinesiotaping to Increase ankle Support and Ankle joint proprioception


Exercise for Neuromuscular Control.

Using a rocker board to develop control of ankle motions with the patient sitting. When both feet are on the board, the normal foot can assist the involved side. With only the involved foot on the board, the activity is more difficult. Do this for 10 times 3 sets

Photo from: Therapeutic Exercise: Foundations and Techniques by Carolyn Kisner PT, MS Lynn Allen Colby PT, MS John Borstad PT, PhD

Advance balance board exercise -Maintain balance and not let the edges of the board hit the ground. Do this Initially with both feet on the ground the progress to single stance


Mobility drill exercise with Elastic tube resistance

Resisted Walking-Have the client walk on heels and on toes against elastic tube/band resistance.Apply resistance against your pelvis, or walk against a pulley weight or elastic resistance fixed around the pelvis

Photo from: Therapeutic Exercise: Foundations and Techniques by Carolyn Kisner PT, MS Lynn Allen Colby PT, MS John Borstad PT, PhD

Agility and Skill

Develop an obstacle course and maneuver around it. This Exercise help you get back to your game.


Wearing of ankle brace or Support

Wearing of ankle brace/support during activities to protect and provide additional support of the ankle and prevent recurrent ankle sprain.

Back To Sport products that can help you

For Strengthening Products  
Back to Sport Resistance Bands to help you in your exercises

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Pain Modulation: Some Products that can help decrease pain and inflammation.

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Mobility Products:
Wobble Boards to improve ankle stability

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Ankle Protection: Some Products that can protect and Stabilize the Ankle

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Learn More About Each of Ankle Sprain's Phases of Recovery and Treatment

week 1

week 2 to 4

week 5 to 10

After Full recovery

Let Us Help With Your Ankle Sprain!

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Disclaimer:

The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only. The indications provided are not a prescription and cannot substitute the recommendation of a health practitioner. We recommend that you seek the advice of your GP, physiotherapist or health practitioner before buying any item on Back To Sport.