If you're someone who suffers from frequent ankle pain or stiffness, you know how frustrating it can be. Even something as simple as going for a walk can become a chore when your ankles are bothering you. But there's no need to live with the discomfort. There are plenty of easy stretches you can do at home to help relieve your symptoms. Give these a try! You can follow along with this video of Dr. Freels.
- The first stretch is simple but effective. Sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you and your feet together. Slowly lean forward, keeping your back straight, until you feel a gentle stretch in your ankles and calves. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, then release and repeat 2-3 times.
- For this next stretch, you'll need a towel or scarf. Place the towel around the ball of your foot and hold on to both ends. Gently pull the towel towards you while keeping your heel on the ground until you feel a stretch in your Achilles tendon and calf muscles. Again, hold for 30 seconds before releasing and repeating 2-3 times.
- This next stretch targets the muscles on the outside of your ankle. Start by sitting on the floor with both legs out in front of you. Cross one leg over the other so that your ankle is resting on top of your opposite knee. Use your hand to grab hold of your ankle and gently pull it towards you until you feel a stretch along the side of your leg. Hold for 30 seconds, then release and repeat with the other leg.
- This fourth stretch is similar to the previous one, but instead of placing your ankle on top of your opposite knee, you're going to place it underneath it. So, start by sitting on the floor with both legs out in front of you and cross one leg over the other so that your ankle is underneath your opposite knee. Use both hands to grab hold of your raised leg just above the ankle and gently pull it towards you until you feel a stretch along the side of that leg. Hold for 30 seconds before releasing and repeating with the other leg.
- For this fifth stretch, you'll need a resistance band or some sort of rope/string that provides resistance when pulled taunt but will give way if too much force is applied suddenly. Anchor one end of the band around a sturdy object like a table leg or door handle, then loop the other end around your foot so that it's resting just below the ball of your foot. Gently pull on the band while keeping your heel firmly planted on the ground until you feel a stretch along the bottom of that foot. You should also feel this stretch in your calf muscle. After holding for 30 seconds, release and repeat 2-3 times.
- The final stretch is another one that targets the muscles on either side of your ankle. Start by lying flat on your back with both legs extended straight out in front of you. Bending at the knee, bring one foot up and cross it over the other so that it's rests just above your knee. Using both hands, grab hold of your crossed leg just below the knee and gently pull it towards your chest until you feel a stretch along sides of that leg...and perhaps in your back! Hold for 30 seconds, release and repeat with opposite leg.
Be sure to ice after you stretch or even apply a CBD salve to reduce any inflammation.
There you have it! Six easy stretches that can be done at home to help relieve discomfort in your ankles. Remember to focus on slow, controlled movements and always stop if you feel any pain or sharp sensations—these stretches should only provide relief, not cause additional pain or injury! And if you're still experiencing pain after trying these stretches, be sure to call us at or schedule an appointment online so we can give you more specific guidance tailored to your individual needs.