Experiencing pain in your feet and ankles can keep you from being active and doing the things you love. While foot and ankle problems are more common among older adults, they can affect you at any age.
In this article, we’ll walk through some exercises you can do at home to relieve pain and strengthen your ankles. Including these moves in your daily routine can help you feel better and prevent future problems from forming.
What is Ankle Pain?
Ankle pain refers to any type of discomfort or pain in the ankle. Symptoms may range from a dull ache to sharp stabbing pain. There are several different causes of ankle pain, including a broken ankle, arthritis, and tendonitis. Some cases of ankle pain may also be signs of a more serious condition, such as cancer or diabetes. Seeking medical attention for ankle pain will help to determine the cause and treat it properly.
Causes of Ankle Pain
Ankle pain is a common injury that can be triggered by a variety of conditions.
- Achilles tendonitis - is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon. This is often caused by overuse, such as when you run or play sports.
- Shin splints- is a condition in which repetitive stress leads to ankle pain.
- Sprained ankle - is another source of ankle pain. In this case, the ligaments attaching the ankle to the foot are stretched beyond their capacity, causing the ligaments to tear.
- Achilles heel- can also cause ankle pain. It occurs when the achilles tendon rubs against the heel bone, causing pain and irritation.
Exercises for Ankle Pain
Doing some gentle stretches and exercises may help alleviate some of your pain. Focusing on your ankles can also help you prevent future injuries.
Note: Stop doing these activities if you start to feel pain, and always follow your healthcare provider’s advice for treating any injuries to your feet and ankles.
1. Standing calf stretch
Gently stretch your Achilles tendon to loosen it and relieve pain using an adjustable incline calf stretch board. Start with a minimal incline, then gradually increase it if you can do so without feeling new pain. This can help with pain from Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, or calf muscle strain.
2. Heel raises
Sit straight in a chair with a back. Put your feet flat on the floor. (For added comfort, use a set of slant boards). Raise your heels, keeping your toes on the floor. Stop before lifting the balls of your feet. Hold for 5 seconds, then lower. Repeat this stage 10 times, then repeat the process, raising your heels until only the tips of your toes touch the ground. Hold for 5 seconds, lower, then repeat.
A balance board can strengthen your ankle muscles and help prevent future injuries. Simply stand in the center of the board and try to remain balanced for up to one minute at a time. Start slowly, and gradually increase the amount of time you stand.
4. Foot massage
A gentle massage can increase blood flow to your feet, which can help relieve pain and tension. Use a balance pad with a hedgehog spike to slowly massage your feet as you work on your balance throughout the day.
5. Ball roller
Place a tennis ball or golf ball on the ground in front of your chair. From a seated position, place one foot on top of the ball and slowly roll the ball back and forth from your toes to your heel. This can help stretch your foot and give it a little massage at the same time.
Get the Foot & Ankle Products You Need from StrongTek
You don’t need to live with chronic foot and ankle pain. Instead, use the above exercises to stretch and strengthen your feet and ankles.
Visit our library to learn more about how to use products from StrongTek to strengthen your entire body from head to toe.