Few things can disrupt an active lifestyle like painful, wobbly ankles. Whether you’re itching to go out for that long run or hike—or hustling to get the kids to school, then to the game, then to band practice—you need to have your physical stability first so you can preserve your mental stability, too!
Ankles can lose strength and support for a variety of reasons, though most commonly as a result of a sprain. Unfortunately, sometimes that wobbliness and discomfort can linger for months or even years after an initial incident, especially if the original injury was severe or was not given the time or care necessary to heal correctly. The good news, though, is that you aren’t powerless.
You’ll want to focus on exercises that rebuild strength in the muscles and tendons surrounding the joint. This not only helps keep the ankle in line, but also improves the lower leg’s ability to withstand and cushion impact forces without pain or injury. Our specialists will be able to provide more detailed program suggestions after your evaluation; this may include exercises and stretches such as:
- Rotating ankles clockwise and counterclockwise
- Slowly rising onto your toes for 10 seconds, then lowering your heels again (heel raises)
- Pushing against a resistance band, towel, wall, or sturdy piece of furniture
- Calf stretches
You may also benefit from exercises that promote improved balance and proprioception, which is a fancy way of saying “your body’s ability to understand its currently location in space.” Even something as simple as standing on one foot (you can close your eyes or stand on a pillow to increase the difficulty), when practices regularly, can significantly improve your stability over time.
The team at Martin Foot & Ankle includes both foot and ankle doctors (podiatrists) as well as physical therapists. This multi-disciplinary structure allows us to take a more comprehensive approach to treating unstable ankles, ensure that you get a sound diagnosis and a treatment and rehabilitation plan tailored to your specific needs. To find out how we can help you, please call 717-757-3537 to set up an appointment in Hanover, Lancaster, Lititz, or York.