Your ankles carry a lot of force and weight everyday, especially if you work in a job where you are on your feet all day or if you perform high-impact exercises like running or competitive sports. The ankle bone connects the shin bone to the 28 bones and 30 joints of the foot. A complicated and small joint, the ankle is easily sprained, strained and broken during various activities. To give your ankles some tender love and care, practice the exercises below to adjust and strengthen the joint.
Start in a seated position with both legs stretched out in front of you. If it is difficult to sit in this position, try raising yourself up on stacked blankets, pillows or towels until you find a comfortable seat. Point your toes away from you, also called dorsiflexion, and then flex the toes towards you, called plantarflexion. To add an extra challenge to the exercise, wrap a resistance band around the ball of your foot. Hold on to the band and add a gentle pressure to the ball of the foot, increasing the resistance.
Release the band and rotate the toes to the left and then back to the right in a back-and-forth, windshield wiper motion. According to “Meridian Exercise for Self-Healing,” this exercise helps to restore balance and blood circulation to the ankle joint.
Stand behind a chair with your hands holding on to the back of the chair. Press the balls of the feet into the floor and lift your heels up off of the floor. Lower your heels back down to the floor and repeat.
Stand on the edge of a step that is close to the ground and hold on to the railing. Lift your heels up while pressing the balls of your feet into the step. Lower your heels down toward the floor, dropping them slightly below the step.
Perform the exercises above 10 times each, three times per day.
Speak to your doctor if you feel ankle pain that is persistent and combined with ankle swelling.