The following ankle stretches are designed to restore movement to the ankle and improve flexibility of muscles crossing the ankle. If you are injured, you should discuss the suitability of these exercises with your physiotherapist prior to beginning them. Generally, they should be performed 3 times daily provided they do not cause or increase pain:
Ankle Stretches – Basic Exercises
Foot and Ankle Up and Down
Move your foot and ankle up and down as far as you can go without pain and provided you feel no more than a mild to moderate stretch (figure 1). Repeat 10 – 20 times provided the exercise is pain free.
Foot and Ankle In and Out
Move your foot and ankle in and out as far as you can go without pain and provided you feel no more than a mild to moderate stretch (figure 2). Repeat 10 – 20 times provided the exercise is pain free.
Foot and Ankle Circles
Move your foot and ankle in a circle as large as possible and comfortable without pain and provided you feel no more than a mild to moderate stretch (figure 3). Repeat 10 – 20 times provided the exercise is pain free.
Ankle Stretches – Intermediate Exercises
Alphabet Writing A-Z
Use your foot and ankle movements to draw the alphabet from A – Z . Use movements as large as possible without pain and provided you feel no more than a mild to moderate stretch (figure 4). Repeat with lower case letters.
Dorsiflexion Stretch with Towel
Begin this exercise in long sitting with your leg to be stretched in front of you. Your knee and back should be straight and a towel or rigid band placed around your foot as demonstrated (figure 5). Using your foot, ankle and the towel, bring your toes towards your head until you feel a stretch in the back of your calf, Achilles tendon or leg. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat 4 times at a mild to moderate stretch provided the exercise is pain free.
Less Common Exercises
Find a Physio
Find a Physiotherapist who can assist with ankle flexibility exercises and ankle rehabilitation.
Physiotherapy Products for Ankle Exercises and Rehabilitation
AllCare Ortho Total Ankle Brace (AOA19)
Forearm Crutches Adjustable – Standard Grip
AllCare Wobble Board (Red – ACWOBRD)
Premium Strapping Tape 38mm (Victor)
Fixomull Stretch 5cm x 10m
Lournet Stability Dura Disc
AllCare Ortho Standard Walker (Cam Boot)
Thermoskin Heat Retaining Ankle Wrap
To purchase physiotherapy products for ankle exercises click on one of the above links or visit the PhysioAdvisor Shop.
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