How to protect your ankles!
I have a few basic top tips for increasing ankle mobility, strength and function, they focus on the routines necessary for ensuring your ankles develop and progress over time.
The first step is regularity, ensuring that each day you are doing work relaxing stretching and massaging your lower leg and feet, this can take only 10 minutes but will build compound your improvement exponentially.
- Stretching- we have detailed stretching videos on the Back 2 Balance website that can help a great deal with this! My main advice is to ask the ankles to increase their range of motion gently but very regularly for optimum adaption you could easily stretch 4 or 5 times in a day if there is no pain being provoked!
- Massaging- using a golf ball or tennis ball, whilst standing and attempting to put all of your weight on the opposite leg, gently roll the ball across the sole of the foot. If your foot is relaxed an your weight above it you will find some tension spots that feel painful, don’t get disheartened if it takes some time and practise to find them! Breathe and relax into the ball willing you foot to release. After 4 or 5 deep breaths you should feel to foot relaxing, just repeat this process for each sore spot without doing so much your foot hurts after! Little and often.
- Relaxing- Ever heard ‘put your feet up at the end of the day’? One of the most underused but effect methods for ensuring your ankles stay mobile! At the end of each day before bed, lie on the floor with your legs up the wall. This allows the blood and lymph to drain from the feet after the day of swelling, returning it to a state of relaxation. Holding this for a few minutes whilst again breathing deeply to relax will help with sleep and your ankles! Important for athletes and retirees alike!
If you find that you often get sprains or you are finding your balance is degrading then come in to see us at the clinic! Happy walking!