The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Whole Body Wellness: U.S. Troops Participate in Active Recovery Following Ankle Injuries

Posted by on Thursday, June 26th, 2014


An ankle injury can be a big hit for individuals who are used to leading active lives. The conventional wisdom from general practitioners used to be to “just take it easy” — stay off the ankle, lie in bed, rest, and recover. We now know that this approach is somewhat misguided. Studies show active recovery immediately following injury reduces muscle lactate levels faster, improves psychological recovery and relaxation, and removes lactic acid from the muscle faster to facilitate quicker rehabilitation. It’s no surprise, then, that our nation’s soldiers recouping from ankle injuries are sent through active recovery programs, much like we feature here at The Center for Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine in New York City.

ankle injury recovery
An ankle injury is a good opportunity to strengthen other parts of the body.
Image Source: SSGT Ricky A. Bloom via

Fort Hood Uses Active Recovery Program for Injured Troops

Warrior Transition Brigade soldier, Staff Sergeant Richard Sterling began cycling to bring himself back to full strength following reconstructive surgery on his ankle. Normally he’d run a few miles, but cycling is a low-impact way to build strength and improve range of motion, without placing a lot of weight or stress on the injured ankle.

He goes cycling every Monday, which he says he is drawn to “for the speed.” He also plans to work his way into riding in one of the Ride 2 Recovery challenge races outdoors. Sterling says he will also try the other activities offered at Fort Hood’s reconditioning camp, which is held every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Some soldiers shoot air rifles and pistols, while others may practice archery.

“This is a great program,” he said. “Adaptive reconditioning as a whole is just great. It offers so many opportunities. You have the choice, and then you work within what you can do physically.”

Top 10 Benefits of Active Recovery

Benefits of active recovery include:

– Reduced soreness and pain

– Improved range of motion

– Diminished lactic acid buildup

– Psychological boost

– Calorie burn to avoid injury-related weight gain

– Builds skills and improves form

– Maintains and bolsters strength

– Improved neuromuscular coordination and balance

– Helps build muscle in other areas to take stress off the injured area

– Improved blood & oxygen circulation to aid in healing

Active Injury Recovery in New York

The Center for Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine in Manhattan and Westchester provide active recovery programs for injured athletes, soldiers, and active adults. Our experienced, passionate physical therapy team focuses on more than just typical range-of-motion exercises by actually focusing on skill building and strength training to help you return to your favorite sports and activities. In addition to physical therapy, we offer cutting-edge treatments like shockwave therapy, cryotherapy systems, and stem cell injections that professional athletes use to return to competition quicker. We are currently accepting new patients, whether you have been diagnosed with a particular injury already or have recently suffered an injury and require both acute and long-term treatment. Book your appointment online here.


If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.