Your feet and ankles are your foundation. Keeping these parts of your body strong improves your balance and stability so you are less likely to fall or injure yourself during exercise or daily activities. If your ankles are weak or tend to give out at odd times, you have several options to help strengthen your foundation.
Symptoms of Ankle Instability
Generally, you only need to be concerned if you suffer from the following problems frequently. Infrequent ankle issues aren't usually chronic, so they are a cause for long-term concern. Signs of instability include:
Your ankle gives out or twists easily.
Swollen or painful ankles, especially if the swelling is chronic.
Feeling unstable when you first stand up or when taking steps, especially on uneven surfaces.
You may only experience these symptoms when you are exercising or participating in a sport, or you may experience them persistently throughout the day.
Exercising for Strength
It's possible to strengthen your ankles with proper exercise if there are no underlying medical issues causing the instability. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends nine exercises that can help increase stability by strengthening your foot and ankle.
The type of exercise you do depends on which part of your ankle and foot needs strengthening. In most cases, several exercises are necessary to target the specific issue. For example, you can improve your ankle's range of motion by sitting down and drawing each letter of the alphabet in the air with your big toe.
Physical therapy can be a key treatment for weak ankles, especially if your ankle problems follow an injury like a sprain. The main benefit of working with a physical therapist is that they can properly pinpoint the area you need to work on and they can make sure you use proper form during your strengthening regimen.
Physical therapists will use a combination of therapies to help you build ankle strength. They will assign certain exercises for you to perform on your own at home, and then they will perform therapies like massage and stretching during your sessions to help your ankles. They can also teach you recovery techniques, like how to maintain your balance if you feel your ankle giving out.
Sometimes the only cure for ankle trouble is surgery. If the ligaments in your ankle are damaged or torn, your ankle doctor may recommend surgery to reconstruct them. After recovery, you will then need to meet with a physical therapist to build up strength in the newly repaired ligaments. Surgery is usually only necessary if your weak ankles are the result of a recent injury or from repeated sprains.
Meet with a doctor that specializes in ankles, like those at Advanced Foot & Ankle Center of Palatine, before starting any treatment plan. This ensures that you pick the treatment that best suits your condition. It also prevents further injury caused by performing the wrong treatment.Share
3 June 2015
When I started jogging daily, I didn't think that anything could get in the way of a decent workout. I focused on my speed, endurance, and technique, and after a few months, I felt like I was really doing great. Unfortunately, I started developing trouble with a bunion on my foot, which made me think twice about hitting the road. I decided to talk with my podiatrist about the problem, and he told me I needed to have surgery. It was a difficult recovery, but my podiatrist saved my exercise routine. I want you to know how a professional could help, so read my blog.