Exercises for an Ankle in a Cast

If you have injured your ankle, resulting in a severe sprain or fracture, you may need to wear a cast to keep it immobilized while it heals. Stanford School of Medicine explains that a cast is made of either plaster or fiberglass, which encompasses the injury during the healing process. In the case of an ankle injury, a cast may be worn anywhere between four to six weeks. During this time, joints can become stiff. If you are wearing an ankle cast, ask your physician if it is OK to exercise to prevent painful stiffness.

Exercising while wearing an ankle cast prevents stiffness. (Image: Sasa Komlen/iStock/Getty Images)

Toe Exercises

Wiggle your toes whenever you think of it. Wiggling your toes will help keep the blood flowing and help to prevent the joints in your toes, foot and ankle from becoming painfully stiff. Simple toe exercises, such as curling your toes, can also be beneficial. Place the bottom of your cast and heel flat on the floor. Curl your toes under, hold for five seconds and release. Stretch your toes out, hold for five seconds and release. Repeat the process ten times daily.

Isometric Exercises

Perform isometric exercises by moving your foot within the cast. The University of Buffalo explains that isometric exercise, also known as static exercise, works the muscles using non-moving resistance. To perform isometric ankle exercises in a cast, sit in an upright chair with the foot of your bad ankle resting flat on the floor. Press your foot into the floor and hold for five seconds. Release the pressure and repeat. Perform this exercise 10 times daily.

Leg Lifts

Perform leg lifts to strengthen the muscles in your ankle and your leg while wearing a cast. Leg lifts will also improve circulation while stretching out your toe and ankle joints, keeping them flexible. Simply lie on the floor, keeping your leg and knee straight. Raise your leg several inches above the floor and hold for five seconds. Bring your leg back down to the floor and repeat the exercise 10 times daily.

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