Our ankles enable us to stand, walk, run, jump, and perform other leg movements. If you have trouble with your balance or notice issues with your mobility, you may have weak ankles.
Weak ankles are more inclined to get sprained and injured than are strong ankles, which is why strengthening them is essential to avoid injuries. An ankle injury can cause pain and discomfort, not to mention create a lack of mobility. An injured ankle may also affect other joints, such as the knees and hips, as imbalances begin to occur.
If one or both of your ankles tend to be a bit unsteady, there are some relatively simple things you can do to help them become stronger.
Make Lifestyle Changes
Let’s talk about some of the most effective ways to strengthen weak ankles and consequently prevent ankle injuries:
Being overweight is a major factor that can lead to weak ankles. The extra weight puts excess stress on your lower extremities, from your hips to your knees, ankles, and feet.
That is why losing weight can help to relieve the pressure on your ankles and lighten the load placed on your legs and feet. Your doctor can recommend some simple ways to help you lose weight slowly and safely.
Use Correct Footwear
Choosing the appropriate footwear may also help prevent ankle injuries by improving balance and support. Wear shoes that are in your correct size to avoid imbalance and to prevent sores on your feet.
Warm Up and Cool Down When Exercising
Warming up before exercising increases blood flow to the muscles. This raises the body temperature and thereby lessens stiffness for smoother movement. You should also cool down and stretch after physical activity to gently return to your normal heart rate.
Improve Ankle Strength
You can decrease the risk of injury and boost stability by improving your ankle strength through these exercises:
Write the Alphabet Using Your Toes
Begin by lying on your back. Lift one leg to draw the alphabet with your big toe as you flex your foot and use swirly motions with your ankle. Repeat the exercise with the other leg.
Standing Calf Raises (Standing on Tiptoes)
Stand with your feet apart at hip-width distance. Using the balls of your feet (at the base of your toes), lift yourself as high as you can, then lower your heels. Perform the exercise for 10 repetitions. As your legs and ankles get stronger, add more repetitions as you perform this exercise every day.
Flex and Stretch (Pointing the Feet)
Begin by lying down on your back. Keep your heels on the floor and your toes pointed up. Slowly, stretch your feet by pointing your toes away from your torso, and hold the position for a couple of seconds. Do this for 10 repetitions. As with the previous exercise, add more repetitions every day as your ankles get stronger.
Podiatrists in Cincinnati, Ohio
Here at Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care, our experienced podiatrists can rehabilitate weak areas and treat injuries that affect the foot and ankle. We have simple therapeutic methods as well as minimally invasive pain-relief treatments, all the way to foot surgery if necessary.