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Don't Let Ankle Pain Slow You Down: Tips for Strong, Stable Ankles

April 08, 20242 min read

Don't Let Ankle Pain Slow You Down: Tips for Strong, Stable Ankles

At Back in Motion, we see a lot of patients with ankle pain. It's a common complaint, and it can be frustrating to deal with. But the good news is, ankle pain is often preventable! Strong, stable ankles are the foundation for good balance and mobility, and they can help you avoid injuries.

Here, our physiotherapists share some key tips for keeping your ankles happy and healthy:

Strengthen Those Muscles!

Your ankles rely on a network of muscles for support. Regularly incorporating exercises that target these muscles can significantly improve your ankle stability. Here are a few exercises to get you started:

  • Heel Raises: This classic strengthens your calves, which play a major role in ankle stability. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and slowly rise up onto your toes. Hold for a second, then lower back down. Repeat 10–12 times, aiming for 2-3 sets.

  • Single-Leg Balance: This exercise challenges your balance and strengthens the muscles that help keep your ankle stable. Stand tall, holding onto a chair for support if needed. Slowly lift one leg off the ground and hold it for a few seconds. Aim for 10-15 seconds on each leg, working up to longer holds as you get stronger.

Stretch it Out

Tight muscles can contribute to ankle problems. Make sure to incorporate regular ankle stretches into your routine. Try these:

  • Calf Stretch: Stand facing a wall with your hands shoulder-width apart on the wall. Step back one leg and keep your heel flat on the ground. Lean into the wall until you feel a stretch in your calf. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

  • Ankle Circles: Sit down and extend one leg straight out in front of you. Gently rotate your foot in circles, 10 times in each direction. Repeat on the other side.

Listen to Your Body

Pay attention to any pain signals your ankles are sending you. If you experience pain during an activity, stop and rest. Pushing through pain can lead to a more serious injury.

Supportive Footwear

Wearing shoes that provide good support is crucial for ankle health. Avoid shoes with worn-out soles or excessive flexibility. Opt for shoes with good arch support and a stable heel.

Warm Up and Cool Down

Always warm up your ankles before any activity, even walking. A few minutes of light cardio and ankle circles will get your blood flowing and prepare your muscles for movement. Don't forget to cool down afterwards with some static stretches.

Seek Professional Help

If you're experiencing chronic ankle pain or have a history of ankle injuries, it's important to consult a physiotherapist. They can assess your condition, develop a personalised strengthening and stretching programme, and help you prevent future problems.

At Back in Motion, our experienced physiotherapists can help you develop a comprehensive ankle care plan to keep you moving pain-free. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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