Foot & Ankle Rehabilitation
Step-by-step sports injury rehabilitation programs take you from initial injury to full competition fitness.
Created by our elite-level sports physiotherapists, based on what they would do with their elite athletes but adapted for use by anyone.
- Criteria based rehab programs
- Created by elite level physios
- 100’s of exercise videos
- Strapping & taping tutorials
- Sports massage tutorials
- Mobile app
Start your rehabilitation now!
We have the following step by step rehabilitation programs for foot & ankle injuries. They have been created by our elite level sports physios and are available online or via our injury rehab app.
Full step-by-step rehabilitation program for Plantar fasciitis from elite sports physiotherapist Phil Pask.
Full step-by-step rehabilitation program for Ankle sprains from elite sports physiotherapist Phil Pask.
Full step-by-step rehabilitation program for Calf strain injuries from elite sports physiotherapist Phil Pask.
Full step-by-step treatment & rehabilitation program for Shin splints from elite sports physiotherapist Paul Tanner.
Phases of rehabilitation
Foot and ankle rehabilitation varies depending on your injury and you as an individual. However, the basic princples are generally the same and follow the progressions outlined below.
Our programs are criteria based which means you have to reach set goals at each phase before moving on to the next phase, rather than a specific time frame for each phase.
This is the acute phase and begins as soon as possible after injury. The aim is to protect the injury and encourage healing. Treatment methods include applying the PRICE princiles of protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation.
Phase 1 can last a couple of days or a couple of weeks depending on your injury and how bad it is. Often you will be able to begin some exercises at this point as long as your injury isn’t stressed.
By now you should be aiming to improve the range of movement of the joint. You will also begin to increase your ability to withstand load, but in a controlled environment.
Here we might introduce some exercises involving functional or sports specific movement patterns, but using mainly bodyweight.
The aim of phase 3 is to prepare your knee to withstand even heavier loads throughout a full range of movement. Here we also like to introduce some dynamic loading exercises such as hopping and jumping.
However, it is still important to protect your injury as the healing process is not yet complete.
The aim of Phase 4 is to prepare and return you to your sport/activity safely with the ability to perform at your best with confidence. This confidence will be born out of completing the demanding exercises in this section including heavier loads, unpredictable movements, changes of direction, and agility all performed under pressure and fatigue.
Often we include a 5th maintenance phase to help mitigate the risk of re-injury.
Take your program with you to the gym or training field. Our sports injury rehabilitation mobile app tells you what treatment and exercises to do each day and tracks your progress.
- Video-based programs
- Set alerts & reminders
- Records daily progress
Types of rehabilitation exercises
Sports rehabilitation is not just about strengthening your foot/ankle and the muscles around it. Our approach is to condition and work on other parts of the body as well. We use the following types of exercises:
These exercises aim to maintain or regain full range of movement in your knee. If you have a ligament or joint injury or significant joint swelling then your mobility is likely to be restricted.
These form the main part of any foot or ankle rehabilitation program. They strengthen the lower leg and foot muscles as well as what we call the posterior chain (hamstrings & gluteal muscles).
These exercises are all about keeping muscles firing and working properly, particularly the hip muscles. This is often overlooked with knee rehabilitation. If you have to rest for a period of time then they can ‘go to sleep’ and lose strength, leading to a slower recovery, or poor performance later when you get back to full fitness.
Movement control exercises are all about coordination, balance and proprioception. Proprioception is how your body senses where parts of it are in space and is damaged when you are injured. This is especially important for lower leg and ankle injuries.
These are activity or sports specific exercises and include more complex exercises and agility drills, but in a controlled environment. They bridge the gap between basic knee strengthening exercises and returning to more sports specific training.
These are all about maintaining general fitness as much as possible. In the early stages of rehabilitation this might be arm only swimming or concentrating on your upper body strength in the gym. Later on running progressions involving acceleration runs, agility and intervals are included.
Strapping & taping for foot & ankle rehabilitation
We have the following strapping & taping video tutorials:
How to instantly relieve the symptoms of Plantar fasciitis with a simple roll of tape.
A step by step guide to strapping and taping ankles with varying levels of support.
How to apply a few strips of zinc oxide tape to relieve pain on the inside of the shin.
How to tape to support the base of your big toe following a turf toe injury.
Taping the achilles tendon greatly reduces the load through your tendon.
Anterior compartment syndrome
How to apply tape to support your lower leg for Anterior shin splints.
Meet our physios
Paul is head of Medical Services at Millwall Football Club, dealing with all aspects of match and training day sports physiotherapy and medical cover. His career also includes First Team Physio at Norwich City Football Club and Senior physiotherapist to London Wasps Rugby.
Phil is one of the World’s most experienced Sports Physiotherapists. He has been England Senior Rugby Team Physiotherapist since 1997, continuing his role in recent years as Consultant Physio to the team. He was a player, physio, and head of performance at Northampton Saints from 1986 – 2002.
Neal is a vastly experienced sports physiotherapist who has over 19 years of experience working in professional sport. He headed up the medical team at Norwich City FC for 12 years and has worked at Oxford United FC, West Bromwich Albion FC, Arsenal FC.