Physical Therapy for Ankle Pain in Washington, D.C.

At Release Physical Therapy, our experienced therapists conduct thorough assessments to identify the underlying causes of your ankle discomfort. From there, we craft personalized treatment strategies tailored to foster healing and alleviate your unique concerns.

Physical Therapy for Ankle Pain in Washington, D.C.

At Release Physical Therapy, our experienced therapists conduct thorough assessments to identify the underlying causes of your ankle discomfort. From there, we craft personalized treatment strategies tailored to foster healing and alleviate your unique concerns.

We'll help you get back to work, back in the game, and back to doing the activities you love.

Washington, D.C. Sprained Ankle Physical Therapy Specialists

What do they do in physical therapy for ankles?

Our goal for ankle physical therapy at Release PT is to restore your function, improve mobility, and alleviate pain following injury or due to chronic conditions. Ankle physical therapy begins with our therapists doing an initial assessment and evaluation to determine the extent of swelling, pain levels, range of motion, strength, and functional abilities. This comprehensive evaluation guides the creation of a treatment plan for you, which includes a range of motion exercises aimed at improving or maintaining flexibility and movement in your ankle joint. 

Strengthening exercises are then introduced to build muscle support around the ankle, particularly targeting the calf muscles for enhanced stability. Balance and proprioception training are crucial components, focusing on improving the sense of joint position to prevent re-injury, a common concern following sprains. Manual therapy techniques like massage, mobilization, and manipulation improve joint mobility, reduce pain, and facilitate tissue healing. 

Ice, heat, ultrasound, or electrical stimulation are used to alleviate pain, reduce swelling, and promote the healing process. Functional training is incorporated to replicate daily movements or specific sports skills, ensuring the ankle can withstand real-life stresses. 

Our doctors at Release PT will also educate our patients on proper footwear, activity modification, and strategies to prevent future injuries, along with recommendations for orthotic devices, like braces or Kinesio tape, to stabilize the ankle during recovery and as a preventive measure against further potential injury.

The goal of Release PT physical therapy for ankles is to rehabilitate the ankle to its pre-injury level of function or to manage symptoms of chronic conditions effectively, enabling you to return to your daily activities or sports with confidence.

How do you rehab an ankle?

Rehabilitating an ankle, especially after an injury, is important to restore strength, flexibility, and function. Here are some of the steps we often recommend to our clients working to rehabilitate their ankle after injury:

Acute Phase:

  • Rest: Avoid putting weight on the ankle.
  • Ice: Apply for 15-20 minutes every few hours.
  • Compression: Use a wrap to control swelling.
  • Elevation: Keep the ankle raised above heart level.

Range of Motion:

  • Start gentle exercises to prevent stiffness as soon as tolerable.


  • Progress from isometric to isotonic exercises to build muscle support around the ankle.
  • Balance and Proprioception:
  • Perform balance exercises like one-leg stands or use a balance board.

Functional Training:

  • Gradually introduce walking, jogging, and sports-specific movements.


  • Stretch calf muscles to maintain ankle flexibility and reduce tension.
  • Progress should be based on pain and ability, avoiding rushing to prevent setbacks


Is walking good for ankle rehab?

Walking can aid ankle rehab when appropriately timed, offering these benefits:

  • Boosts Circulation: Promotes healing through increased blood flow.
  • Improves Mobility: Helps regain a normal range of motion gradually.
  • Strengthens Muscles: Builds support around the ankle by strengthening the lower leg muscles.
  • Enhances Balance: Walking on different surfaces can improve balance and ankle positional sense reducing the risk of future injuries.

At Release Physical Therapy, we may suggest starting with short, gentle walks, gradually increasing as comfort allows, and making sure to wear supportive footwear to avoid pain exacerbation.


What is the best physical therapy for a sprained ankle?

Effective physical therapy for a sprained ankle includes:


  • RICE Protocol: Initial steps to reduce swelling and pain with rest, Ice, compression, and elevation.
  • Range of Motion Exercises: Early gentle movements to maintain joint mobility, like ankle circles.
  • Strengthening Exercises: Gradual muscle building around the ankle with resistance bands.
  • Balance Training: Balance improvement exercises, such as one-legged stands or balance board work.
  • Functional Training: Activities mimicking daily or sports movements to ensure readiness for stress.
  • Flexibility Work: Stretching the calf and Achilles to maintain muscle flexibility.
  • Manual Therapy: Techniques to increase mobility and reduce discomfort.
  • Education: Guidance on supportive footwear and injury prevention strategies.

Therapy should be tailored and progress from managing symptoms to strengthening and functional activities under the professional guidance of a qualified physical therapist like ours at Release PT.

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When to start physical therapy after an ankle sprain?

Physical therapy after an ankle sprain should begin as soon as possible within the first few days following the injury, once acute pain and swelling are reasonably managed. The exact timing depends on the severity of your ankle sprain:

  • Mild sprains (Grade I): Therapy might start within 1-3 days, focusing on gentle range of motion exercises, progressing to strengthening and balance exercises as tolerated.
  • Moderate sprains (Grade II): Initial rest and immobilization period might last a few days to a week, with therapy commencing thereafter, tailored to pain and swelling reduction.
  • Severe sprains (Grade III): May require a longer period of rest and possibly immobilization before starting therapy, often a week or more, depending on your doctor’s advice.

At Release Physical Therapy we will customize your treatment plan to help reduce recovery time, improve function, and prevent chronic instability or re-injury.


Do I need physical therapy after ankle surgery?

Physical therapy is often essential after ankle surgery to strengthen the ankle and facilitate recovery. Initial therapy aims to reduce swelling and alleviate pain, progressing to exercises that will restore your range of motion and gradually rebuild your muscle strength. Balance exercises are integral to regaining stability, while functional training can help you safely return to daily or athletic activities. The specific rehabilitation timeline and regimen vary based on the surgery type and your progress.


How long is physical therapy for sprained ankles?

The duration of ankle sprain physical therapy varies by severity:

  • Grade I (Mild): 1-3 weeks, focusing on quick mobility and strength recovery.
  • Grade II (Moderate): 3-6 weeks, with intensive therapy for restoring function.
  • Grade III (Severe): 6-12 weeks or more, for significant rehabilitation post-injury or surgery.

Therapy progresses from managing pain and swelling to improving strength, balance, and functional abilities, tailored to individual healing rates and goals.

Contact us at Release PT to schedule an appointment at your convenience, using our online scheduling system where you can select your preferred time, date, location, and physical therapist. Secure your spot instantly online, or if you prefer, give our office a call at (202) 974-6621. Our team at Release PT is eager to support your journey towards improved health with our tailored and holistic approach to wellness.

We'll help you get back to work, back in the game, and back to doing the activities you love.

Release Physical Therapy


At Release Physical Therapy Washington, D.C. we offer a full range of manual therapies, as well as both traditional and non-traditional treatment techniques. We work one-on-one with our patients to develop an individualized treatment plan that meets their unique needs, conditions, wellness goals and fitness levels.

Active Release Technique ® (ART)

Massage and movement-based technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves.

K-Laser ® Therapy

The use of specific wavelengths of light to improve healing time, pain reduction, increase circulation and decrease swelling.

Trigger Point Dry Needling

Needle treatment that decreases pain, increases range of motion and improves strength by inactivating myofascial trigger points.

ASTYM ® Therapy

Regenerates healthy soft tissues (muscles, tendons, etc.), and eliminates or reduces unwanted scar tissue that may be causing pain or movement restrictions.

Kineseo ® Taping Method

Taping technique that reduces muscular pain and inflammation, relaxes overused muscles, improves posture and movement awareness and enhances performance.

Running Assessment

Individualized biomechanical analysis designed to identify strength, gait, and alignment imbalances to decrease risk of injury and improve your current training program.

Functional Training

Exercise regimens that integrate multiple muscle groups, joints and the brain to prepare the body for everyday movement, athletics and other specialized physical activities.

Graston Technique ®

Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization used to address soft tissue lesions and fascial restrictions resulting in improved patient outcomes.

Blood Flow Restriction (BFR)

Rehabilitation therapy and performance training technique using a Personalized Tourniquet System® designed for BFR, to reduce atrophy and increase strength.

Shockwave Therapy

A non-invasive, office based treatment that utilizes acoustic waves to alleviate pain, promote tissue regeneration, and accelerate the healing process.

Massage Therapy

Manual manipulation of the soft tissues including muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints to relieve pain, improve circulation, and address specific musculoskeletal conditions.

Meet Washington DC's best

Physical Therapists

Our experienced and highly trained physical therapists specialize in treating the outpatient orthopedic population, including sports therapy, orthopedic/spinal therapy, chronic pain management, pre/post-surgical therapy, as well as wellness and prevention. All of our physical therapist are accepting new patients.

Monday - Thursday

6:00 am - 8:00 pm

Mon - Thur

6:00 am - 8:00 pm


6:00 am - 5:00 pm


By appointment


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What Patients Are Saying

What Patients Say

"Dr. Simon's knowledge, expertise and patience have given me my life back. She spent more time discussing my injuries and recovery than both my doctor and an orthopedist." - L.J.

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Health & Safety


At Release Physical Therapy, there is nothing more important to us than the health and safety of our patients and staff during this unprecedented time. The Department of Homeland Security and state governments have deemed physical therapy an essential component of healthcare during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic; therefore, our office will remain open to serve those in need. We are taking extensive preventative measures to protect our patients and employees who enter our clinic. Learn more

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Location & Hours

Hours of Operation

Monday-Thursday: 6am - 8pm
Friday: 6am - 5pm
Saturday: By appointment
Sunday: Office closed

Office Address

Release Physical Therapy
2134 L St NW, Washington, DC 20037

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Our Physical Therapists

Our experienced and highly trained physical therapists specialize in treating the outpatient orthopedic population, including sports therapy, orthopedic/spinal therapy, chronic pain management, pre/post-surgical therapy, as well as wellness and prevention. All of our physical therapists are accepting new patients.