Ankle Sprain: Strengthening Stabilizer Muscles

It’s generally good to get your ankle moving after you’ve sprained it. How much time you wait depends on whether how bad you sprained it with the amount of swelling you have, whether you can weight bear on it or if there’s a fracture involved . If you’re unsure, consult your local Physiotherapist before doing this exercise. This exercise works the Peroneal muscles that help to stabilize the ankle. Start by wrapping a resistance band around the forefoot with the lower legs supported by either a rolled up towel or folded Yoga Mat so that the heels are up from the floor. Place a small squishy ball between the knees and maintain a squeeze on the ball throughout the exercise. This helps you isolate the movement focus towards the ankles and prevents the hip and thighs from being involved. To strengthen the left lateral ankle, keep the right ankle stiff to stabilize. keep the ankle plantar flexed, so toes pointed down, and move the foot outwards lead by the little toe. Do 3 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions daily.

Ankle Sprain: Squat Clock Reaches

Start with nice tall posture and engage your core muscles below the belly button by drawing the lower ab muscles inward toward the spine. Then, stand on one leg and hold a stick with the butt end about 2 and a half feet away. Bend down through the hips to touch the stick to the floor at the 9 O’Clock position like a grid on a clock. Come back up and then bend down to touch the end of the stick at the 10 O’Clock position. Repeat this until you get to the 3 O’Clock position and then reverse coming back to the 9 O’Clock position again to complete the full set. When doing this exercise maintain your knee alignment with the second toe, the knee over the ankle and bend through the butt more. Do 2 full sets 2 times a day. This is great exercise for developing strength, balance, and proprioceptive control in your ankle and whole lower quadrant after a sprain. 

Hand & Finger Tendon Strains: Tendon Glides

When it comes to particular sports like rock climbing or other activities dependent on finger tendon strength, It’s particularly important to restore their maximal gliding capability. This tendon gliding mobility exercise does just that! Begin by extending the hand and fingers as much as possible. Then bring the fingers into a closed hook position by crimping the fingers down (keeping the knuckles aligned with the wrist). Then make a closed fist by rolling the fingers down. And then finally move into a flat fist with the fingers reaching down. Perform the movement in a slow and rhythmic sequence by moving through a full range of motion and keeping the wrist in neutral. Do this for 3 sets of 10 repetitions 3 times per day is excellent for rock climbers, volleyball players and any other activities that require intense finger strength and mobility.

Ankle Sprain: Wall Squat Core Activation

This exercise can help with the retraining of the core stability, hip, leg and ankle muscles after an acute ankle ligament sprain. If you experience pain or you’re unsure about this exercise please consult your local Physiotherapist before continuing. Wrap a closed loop resistance band around the thighs just above the knees. Then position yourself so that your low back is fully leaning up against the big ball on the wall. Keep your posture nice and tall but don’t arch your low back when leaning upright against the big ball. Next, engage you inner core stabilizers by contracting your pelvic floor muscles and pulling your transverse abdominal muscles below your belly button inwards, hugging your spine. Remember to keep breathing. Leaning your weight on the ball slide downwards doing a wall squat while you maintain static isometric pressure against the resistance bands. Keep your knees over your ankles and in alignment with your second toes. Hold the wall squat for 10 seconds. Repeat this for ten repetitions doing three sets daily. 

Elbow Pain: Forearm Flexor Stretches

This is stretch will help ease the tight forearms! Start with the elbow in a bent position. With the opposite hand, fully extend the wrist and fingers. Then straighten out the elbow and hold this for 30 seconds and repeat 3 sets. The overuse tendinopathies that occur in the medial elbow can be caused by overly tight forearm flexors. This is very common in rock climbers or golfers. If you have pain or unsure about doing the exercise, consult your local physiotherapist before continuing.

Elbow Pain: Forearm Extensor Stretches

This stretch will help ease the tight lateral forearms. This condition is commonly called “Tennis Elbow”. Start with the elbow in a bent position. With a closed fist, fully flex the wrist and rotate it outwards with assistance from the other hand. Then straighten out the elbow and hold for 30 seconds and repeat for 3 sets. Lateral elbow pain can be caused by overly tight forearm extensor muscles from sports or repetitive strain activities such tennis, racket sports, rock climbing and prolonged computer desk work. If you have pain or unsure about doing this exercise, consult your local physiotherapist before continuing.

Shoulder Impingement Pain: Rotator Cuff Muscle Stretch

To stretch out the right rotator cuff muscle, place a non-stretchy strap with your left hand over your head and behind your back. Reach the right hand behind your back to grab the strap. Reach as far up as you can towards your limit but avoid tilting your shoulder forward. Stabilize the front of your right shoulder by placing it against a corner or a door frame and step the left foot forward. Hold tightly with your right hand and pull the strap upwards with your left. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat for 3 sets. Doing this stretch daily can help increase the mobility of your stiff shoulder if you’re experiencing shoulder impingement pain due to a tight overuse Supraspinatus Rotator Cuff muscle. It’s also great to do as a warm down stretch when it’s abnormally tight and stiff. If you have pain or if you’re unsure about how to do the exercise, please consult with your local Physiotherapist before continuing.

Shoulder Pain & Stiffness: Shoulder Muscle Stretch

If you feel some pain or stiffness in the shoulder, this stretch may help with the sports you play or physical activities that you do. To stretch out the right side, reach your right hand up and down your back keeping your right elbow pointed upwards. Avoid arching the back by keeping your spine in neutral. Pull the right elbow towards midline with your left hand while keeping the right elbow pointed upwards. Hold this for 30 seconds doing 3 sets on each side daily.

Hamstring Strain: Basic & Progressive Functional Mobility

When you strain and injure any part of your hamstring muscle, an important part of the rehab process is to ensure that the sciatic nerve associated with it is moving properly. Depending on the severity of the injury, you want to start this basic mobilization technique within the first few weeks. With the basic nerve mobility exercise to increase hamstring functional mobility start sitting down with tall posture. Slowly extend your knee and flex your toes towards you to further mobilize the hamstring. Then return the knee and ankle back to the start position. Repeat this for 60 seconds 4 sets 3 times per day. With the Progressive nerve mobility exercise for the functional hamstring retraining start sitting down with your knees bent and feet flat. Begin to slump your spine so you’re slouching forward and then slowly extend your knee and flex your toes towards you. When it reaches full knee extension and toes towards you with a pulling sensation, straighten up you back to tall posture. Then return the knee and ankle back to the start position. Repeat this for 60 seconds 4 sets 3 times per day. 

Elbow Strain: Median Nerve Mobility Exercise

Place your hand onto your opposite shoulder to help prevent it from hiking up. Then turn your head to the opposite side and abduct the shoulder to 90 degrees. Together, extend the elbow, wrist and fingers out fully. As you start to feel a pull into the right side, turn your head to look towards the extended side. Repeat this by looking to the opposite side and extending the entire arm, wrist and fingers while turning again towards the extended side. Do it for 60 seconds, 4 sets two times per day. This is a great nerve mobility exercise biasing the median nerve. It’s important to regain full mobility in the nervous system when you are rehabbing from elbow, forearm, hand and finger tendon & muscle strains. Whether you’re an elite, avid to recreational athlete or just use your arms and hands a lot for work or activities of daily living, having the mobility you need in your muscle skeletal system will help optimize your overall function!