The ankle is a joint made of three bones: tibia (shin bone), fibula (thinner bone next to shin bone), and talus (foot bone). The primary role of this joint is to allow up-and-down movement of the foot and help you walk, run, and do other activities. Like other joints, ankles work hard to ensure ease of movement, but they are also prone to injuries or other problems that cause joint pain and ankle pain. When the pain in ankles occurs, an affected person finds it difficult to move and do some daily tasks. Fortunately, you can alleviate pain with exercises that target the painful area and improve your flexibility. Here are seven suggestions.
What causes Joint Pain and Ankle Pain?
Pain in ankles can occur due to some reasons. In fact, injury to any of the ankle bones, tendons, ligaments, and some other conditions can cause pain in this area. You can also prefer joint health supplements. If the pain is persistent and doesn’t seem like it will go away, consulting a doctor is the right thing to do. A health care provider performs a physical exam and orders necessary tests to determine the cause.
Causes of pain in ankles can include:
·Achilles tendonitis – an overuse injury of the Achilles tendon, the tissue that connects calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to the heel bone
·Bursitis – a painful condition that affects bursae (small, fluid-filled sacs) which cushion the bones, muscles, and tendons near joints
·Arthritis – pain in ankles can be a consequence of several forms of arthritis including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, psoriatic arthritis, septic arthritis, and others. Fortunately, there are many effective supplements that can deliver arthritis relief.
·Sprained ankle – an injury that occurs when you twist, roll, or turn the ankle in an awkward and uncomfortable manner. As a result, ligaments that hold ankle bones together tear and cause pain. This is the most frequent cause of pain in ankle joint and figures show that 25,000 Americans suffer from ankle sprain each year and more than 80% of cases occur due to inversion or inward rolling of the ankle.
Now that you know more about common causes of joint pain in this area let’s move on to exercises that will allow you to move easily and alleviate pain and discomfort.
This is a simple exercise that brings many benefits. Ankle circles decrease the intensity of ankle and foot pain, and they can also be helpful for the knee, hip, and low back pain. Moreover, this easy maneuver increases the flexibility of ankles and allows you to move easily thus preventing additional injuries later on.
To do this exercise, you should:
·Lie on the back and extend right leg over the head
·Start rotating the extended ankle clockwise 10 times
·Stop and resume rotating the ankle counterclockwise 10 times again
·Lower your leg to the ground
·Raise the left leg and repeat the process
2.Ankle flexion stretch on block
Ankle flexion stretch belongs to the group of mobility exercises. Without proper ankle mobility, it would be difficult to perform moves such as squats, lunges, running, and others. Like other exercises of this type, ankle flexion stretch ensures proper functioning of the joints and improves your form in other workouts.
This is particularly important for menopausal women. Menopause and joint pain are deeply connected due to hormonal fluctuations, lack of joint lubrication and decreased bone density. Keeping your joints healthy is the best way to prevent more severe pain and injuries. Here’s how to perform this simple maneuver:
·Place a block on the floor
·Step the tones and ball of your foot onto the block
·Make sure heel is on the ground
·Start leaning your weight forward to stretch both bottoms of your foot and ankle
Resisted flexion targets small, hard-to-reach muscles located on the top of foot and ankle. These muscles are of extreme importance for proper balance. Not only will this exercise alleviate pain, but it will also strengthen the muscles and prevent injuries, falls, and other unwanted scenarios. To perform resisted flexion you need an exercise band. Then, you should:
·Wrap an exercise band around a sturdy chair or bedpost
·Sit on the ground with legs extended in front of you
·Place the band on the top of the right foot
·Slide backward until you feel tension in the band
·Flex the foot and hold for 5 seconds
·Carefully release the foot; don’t rush
·Repeat the same process 10 times with one foot and switch sides
Tightness in the calf affects the position of the foot, the way it moves and our balance. It is one of the most common causes of joint pain affect your foot, ankles, and knees. Stretching exercises improve calf flexibility and increase the range of motion while alleviating pain. Here’s what to do:
·Stand in front of a wall, about 2 feet away from it and make sure you’re facing the wall
·Place hands on the wall about shoulder-width apart
·Place one foot behind the other
·Make sure toes are pointing straight ahead, heels down
·Slowly bend the front knee until you feel the stretch at the back of the other leg
·Switch sides and repeat the process
5.Ankle extension stretch on the block
Ankle extension stretch is yet another mobility exercise that allows you to improve range of motion and flexibility of this joint. This exercise alleviates tension and takes pressure off the joint. In many cases, joint injuries occur as a consequence of placing too much stress or pressure on them when we don’t do some exercise properly. Here’s what to do:
·Stand 4 feet in front of the block
·Place top of one foot on the block making sure toes are supported (not hanging off the edge)
·Bend the knee so that you can feel the stretch along the front side of the ankle
Ankles tend to lock up and easily get stiff due to a sedentary lifestyle. Let’s not forget that many forms of arthritis also involve joint stiffness. Talocrural joint (located where ankle meets foot) is the most common ankle joint that gets stiff and causes pain and discomfort. This simple exercise helps eliminate stiffness easily:
·Kneel and place one leg forward so your thigh is parallel to the ground and one leg back
·Keeping the heel down start rocking forward as far as you can on the front foot
·Rock back and forth 10-20 times (1 set)
7.Achilles roll-out with ball
Achilles roll-out with the ball is one of the easiest exercises you can do if you have Achilles tendonitis. As mentioned above, this is a common cause of pain in the ankles. To perform this exercise, you’ll need a tennis ball (or any other similar-sized ball) and the block or something else for support. Then:
·Sit on the floor
·Place a ball on the block
·Gently place back of the ankle on the ball
·Roll up and down to give Achilles muscles a massage
·Strive to press harder on sore or tender spots and hold for 3 deep breaths before start rolling again
·Switch legs and repeat
Causes of ankle pain are numerous ranging from injuries to arthritis. Pain in the ankle area affects your range of motion and prevents you from exercising properly and even walking becomes difficult. Simple exercises listed in this article alleviate pain.