Most people strain, sprain or fracture an ankle at some point in their lives. Ankle rehabilitation is a popular way to speed up the healing process and prevent future ankle injuries. If the ankle is sprained, different types of ankle rehabilitation can begin after the swelling has gone down. If the ankle is fractured, rehabilitation might start after the physician allows ankle movement again. There are many different types of ankle rehabilitation, such as several kinds of ankle exercises, ankle braces, ankle straps and alternative workouts.
One of the different types of ankle rehabilitation treatments is proprioceptive exercise. Poor proprioception is the culprit in many ankle injuries, because it is the body’s ability to sense where joints are. Some people injure their ankles when they are caught off balance and their bodies do not know how to compensate for the imbalance and react properly. Some proprioceptive exercises include balancing on one leg at a time and changing the weight quickly on each leg. They also include leg swings, toe walking and heel walking.
Muscle strengthening and flexibility exercises are other forms of the different types of ankle rehabilitation. When a person repeatedly has ankle injuries or cannot easily heal from them, he or she might need to do these types of exercises. They work to build calf muscles, improve range of motion and increase flexibility in the ankle’s tendons and ligaments. Some of these exercises include ankle circles, stretching and resistance training.
Ankle braces and straps are used to stabilize and support the ankle and to limit its range of motion in order to allow it to heal. There are many different types of ankle rehabilitation braces and straps, including rigid, semi-rigid and non-rigid versions. Rigid ankle braces do not allow any ankle movement, and semi-rigid braces are made of softer materials that allow basic front-to-back movements. Non-rigid braces or straps typically are made from elastic material and provide some support to the ankle but still allow a wide range of motion. Some people consider high-top sneakers to be part of the non-rigid brace category.
Recovering from an ankle injury typically requires many different types of ankle rehabilitation exercises. Many people want to get back into their regular workout routines as well. One way to maintain fitness and aerobic activities is to incorporate alternative exercises that do not put much pressure or weight on the ankle, such as swimming or water aerobics. Other people gradually return to normal sporting activities but decrease their workout time and intensity.