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Exercises to Improve Foot and Ankle Movement

Exercises to Improve Foot and Ankle Movement

A lot of people experience foot or ankle pain at some point. The discomfort usually comes from excessive workouts, injuries, or chronic health conditions, which are all challenging to control and heal. However, there are several ways to manage foot or ankle pain, and one of them includes leading an active lifestyle. 

By keeping the feet strong and stable, one can reduce and eliminate soreness, pain, and discomfort related to injuries. Regular exercises can improve the overall health and flexibility of the feet and help people get back to their everyday routine. They also increase the range of motion and allow athletes and fitness enthusiasts to enjoy an active lifestyle all over again. 

We prepared some simple exercises to improve foot and ankle movement you can try out at home. These are suited for regular exercise routines, and everyone can perform them for pain relief and increased motion. 

Common Foot and Ankle Problems

One can experience different foot and ankle problems. Sometimes, it’s a health condition that causes enormous pain and discomfort in patients. Foot arthritis, for example, is a condition that results in joint inflammation. There are also degenerative changes, gout, psoriatic arthritis, and many other similar conditions. These can cause an array of symptoms and prevent people from leading an active lifestyle. In addition to the health conditions, a person can also experience injury and weaken the foot and ankles with their overuse or accident. 

What Causes Foot and Ankle Injuries?

Ankle injuries can be classified according to the damaged tissue. The ankle is a place where the tibia and fibula of the lower leg and the talus of the foot meet. These bones are held together at the ankle joint by ligaments, a connective tissue that stabilizes bones during motion. Tendons have the same function – the only difference is, they attach muscle to the bone.

Considering all of this, we can identify different foot and ankle injuries. For example, a fracture is a break in one or more bones, and a sprain is excessive stretching of ligaments or tendons. The latter is a very common injury that follows the tear of fibers in ligaments or muscles and tendons.

Due to overuse or trauma, ligaments and tendons can become inflamed and tear over time. It is a painful condition that can significantly influence one’s entire life. What can lead to different injuries, you may ask? Well, ankle injuries often occur during sports activities but can also strike in routine actions. The reasons are the unnatural position of the ankle, walking on uneven surfaces, wearing improper shoes, or similar. Each one of these actions can lead to injury and pain. Luckily, physical therapy and ankle mobility exercises are very effective at relieving foot pain and restoring flexibility. 

Foot and Ankle Injuries Symptoms and Treatments

The symptoms of foot and ankle problems are various. The most common ones include sudden pain, swelling, bruising, and inability to walk or move. If you notice any of these symptoms, consult your doctor or physical therapist. You shouldn’t take any actions on your own because treatments for foot and ankle symptoms can vary a lot depending on the root of the problem. A professional will guide you through the recovery process in the safest possible way and help you restore motion in your feet. 

Exercises to Improve Foot and Ankle Movement

If you’re suffering from a chronic health condition or injury, an exercise conditioning program might help you return to daily activities and enjoy an active and healthy lifestyle. Following a well-structured exercise plan can reduce pain and restore motion in the foot and ankle area, allowing people to return to sports and other recreational activities. 

We composed just the perfect plan for you to follow to regain strength, increase mobility, and get back to a pain-free life. You can follow it at home all on your own, just make sure to consult your doctor or physical therapist beforehand. Although highly beneficial for foot and ankle pain, some of these exercises might not be suitable for every injury or health condition. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist to ensure which activities work the best for you. 

Heel Cord Stretch

You can do heel cord stretches four times a day for ultimate results. 

Golf Ball Roll

This is one of the foot stability exercises you can do daily for relieving discomfort in the arches and easing pain from plantar fasciitis. All you need to do is sit on a chair with both feet placed flat on the floor. Then, put a golf ball under the arch of your affected foot and roll it back and forth for 2 minutes.

Feet Strength 

For strengthening the feet, you can try these two easy exercises every day. 

Ankle Pumps

This exercise is highly beneficial for prolonged resting after injury or surgery when there’s a risk of deep vein thrombosis and other similar conditions. Ankle pumps increase blood circulation and reduce swelling in the feet. 

The procedure is simple. Lie on your back with your legs extended and your toes pointed upward. Point your toes downward, and then raise them again upward. Relax and repeat 10 times. 

Ankle Circles

Ankle circles are meant to increase mobility in the foot and ankle and allow for a wide range of motion. To perform it, sit in a chair with your feet lying flat on the floor. Rise your foot and trace a circle without moving your body. Repeat the exercise ten times before you switch to the other foot.

Walk on Sand

If you have an opportunity, try walking barefoot on the sand. This is a great way to stretch and strengthen the feet and calves. The soft texture will make walking more demanding but enjoyable too.

Before you start with the foot and ankle mobility exercises, make sure to warm up. You can try walking around or riding a stationary bicycle. Also, ensure you stretch at least 5 to 10 minutes after completing the exercise program. These are the two essential steps for achieving the best results. 

Whatever you do, don’t ignore pain. If you experience pain during an exercise, stop and take a pause. You should feel less discomfort as you continue through the program. However, if the pain doesn’t subside, consult your doctor or physical therapist. A professional can also help you decide on the quantity and frequency of exercises, depending on your condition. 

Physical Therapy for Increased Strength and Mobility

Are you having difficulties with relieving pain in the foot and ankle and can’t seem to regain mobility? Desert Edge Physical Therapy offers a range of options for those who need physical therapy in Phoenix, Peoria, Vistancia, and other surrounding areas. With the expert team and wide experience, our physical therapists provide the best care for patients who need orthopedic care, post-surgery recovery, and sports medicine services. From manual therapy and specialized modalities to supervised exercise, we work to help our patients get their motion back and enjoy the activities they love. 

Contact Desert Edge Physical Therapy today and make the custom plan to relieve pain and improve foot and ankle movement as soon as today!

published on Wednesday, March 24th, 2021