The leg is made up of muscles, bones, blood vessels and connective tissues that help you achieve motion. The leg can be injured by exercise, falls or other accidents, which can affect the foot, ankle, knees or hips. Common injuries include muscle tears, sprains and strains, as well as bone fractures and dislocations. Some leg injuries require surgery to repair them, while others may heal on their own. Depending on the leg injury sustained, healing time can vary from a few days to several months. Exercising after a leg injury can improve the leg's flexibility, strength and motion, but you must begin slowly so you don't aggravate the injury. It also is important to consult your doctor before attempting any exercise after an injury. Use these tips to exercise after a leg injury.
Consult Your Doctor
Get your doctor's permission to exercise. Before attempting any exercise after a leg injury, consult your doctor. The healing time will depend on the type of leg injury you sustained, and some injuries take longer than others to heal. If you begin exercising too soon after an injury, you may cause additional damage to your leg and increase the healing time required.
Increase circulation to your legs after a leg injury. Simple exercises with small movements can increase circulation and prevent blood clots, especially right after surgery. These exercises can be done on your back while lying in bed.
Increase Range of Motion
Increase your range of motion after a leg injury. Most physical therapy programs for leg injuries focus first on flexibility. Gentle stretching is the most effective way to increase range of motion.
Do exercises to improve your balance. Balance training improves posture, athletic skill and coordination, which results in greater stability and fewer injuries as you age.
Strengthen your muscles after a leg injury. When you are strong enough to stand independently and put weight on your leg, try some exercises to increase muscle strength. When first attempting standing exercises after a leg injury, hold onto a sturdy object or surface like a wall or piece of furniture for extra support.
Begin Low-Impact Exercise
Resume low-impact exercise with a doctor's permission. Whatever type of exercise you choose, it is important to start off slowly and gradually work back up to your pre-injury activity level.