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At-Home Exercises to Strengthen Your Ankle

At-Home Exercises to Strengthen Your Ankle

Whether you’re active or not, your ankles take on a lot throughout the day. They bear the brunt of most of your body weight, making them prone to injury. Over time, the wear-and-tear on this joint can lead to ankle weakness. If not addressed, this can lead to problems with your balance and ankle sprains or instability.

At Sports Medicine Associates of San Antonio, our team are experts in foot and ankle problems. When you’re dealing with ankle weakness, Dr. Marque A. Allen provides foot and ankle treatments to help you avoid injury and get back to your busy life.

What contributes to weak ankles?

Just like any other joint in your body, your ankle joint provides you with the ability to move. This joint is responsible for the range of motion of your foot and ankle, and allows you to walk and jump.

But because it’s used so much, your ankle joint is also prone to injury and overuse. This is often due to weakness in the ankle joint. What exactly causes ankle weakness, though? There are many factors that lead to weak ankles, including:

Osteoarthritis

This condition causes the cartilage in your ankle joint to deteriorate, leading to pain and stiffness. It also contributes to ankle weakness, as it decreases your range of motion in the joint.

Previous injuries

broken ankle or severe sprain also causes weakness in your ankles. These injuries may lead to damage in the tendons or ligaments of your ankles, resulting in instability if they don’t heal properly.

Chronic instability

After a severe ankle sprain or fracture, you’re at risk for chronic ankle instability. This causes your ankle to continuously roll and give out from under you. This is often caused by weakness from the injury.

There are other factors that play into ankle weakness as well, including wearing improper footwear and diabetes. Damage to your posterior tibial tendon also causes problems in your ankle joint.

Signs of ankle weakness

One of the biggest signs of weak ankles is them rolling chronically when you’re walking. There are other signs that you should be aware of as well, including:

It’s important to understand the signs of weak ankles, as it may help you prevent serious injury. Ankle weakness contributes to instability, which often leads to balance issues and injuries like sprains or fractures.

Home exercises that provide stability

The good news is, you can increase the strength of your ankle joint at home. If you’re worried about ankle instability, Dr. Allen provides you with home exercises to build up your ankle strength, including:

Calf raises

To do a calf raise, stand on the edge of a step or on an even surface near the kitchen counter. Hold onto the railing or counter for support. Spread your feet hip width apart, and lift your heels up, to stand on your toes. Lower your heel back down. Repeat this 10 times once a day.

The alphabet

The ankle alphabet is a great way to increase strength in your joints. You can do this either lying on your back or standing, holding onto a chair. Lift your foot off the ground, and flex your foot. Then, draw every letter in the alphabet. When you’re done with one foot, switch to the other. Perform once per day.

Flex and then stretch

For this exercise, you should lie on your back, with your feet on the ground and toes pointing toward the ceiling. When you’re ready, point your toes forward as far as you can. Hold this position for a few seconds. Release and repeat 10 times on each foot one time per day.

Heel walking

If you’re worried about falling or your ankles rolling, be sure to hang onto the wall for safety during this exercise. Lift the balls of your feet off of the ground, and stand on your heels. Walk slowly across the room. Try to do this exercise once a day.

Performing these exercises regularly helps to provide strength to your ankles, hopefully preventing injuries.

If your ankles are bothering you and you need treatment, call our office in San Antonio, Texas today at 210-988-6520. You can request an appointment online as well.

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