Ankle pain presents itself in many different forms, from throbbing and aching feelings to shooting, sharp pains. When your ankles hurt, almost everything you do on a daily basis can be affected—walking, exercising, sleeping and even sitting down comfortably. One of the best ways to help manage (and even prevent) ankle pain is to take time to stretch each day. Certain stretches can not only ease your discomfort, but also help improve strength, flexibility and range of motion.
Below, you’ll find a few of our recommended stretches for a variety of issues. These stretches can conveniently be practiced in the comfort of your own home! And remember: ask us for any tips or help you may need
Sit down in a comfortable place with both of your legs extended in front of you, keeping your back as straight as possible. Use a towel, rope, belt, or a similar object with minimal elasticity. Place the object across your forefoot and gently pull your foot towards you, using ONLY arm muscle. Hold for 30 seconds, and perform this stretch five times on either foot. We recommend doing one set per session, and two sessions per day.
Standing calf stretch:
Place the foot you want to stretch at a 45 degree angle against a wall, keeping the other foot on the ground for stability. Make sure your stomach is facing the wall. Lean into the wall until the stretch is felt in the lower calf. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds. We recommend repeating this action three times per set, doing one set per session, and two sessions per day.
Foot rocker stretch:
While standing straight up, place both hands against a wall and place one foot on the foot rocker. Put all of your weight on the foot/ankle being stretched, leaning slightly forward against the wall. Your other foot should be lifted to the same height, with only your toes touching the ground. Keep your hips vertical and your legs straight for balance, letting only the ankle on the foot rocker pivot. We recommend 30 seconds per set and three sets per foot. Take five-second intervals in between sets, letting your ankle relax and return to a neutral position.
Toe flexion/extension stretch:
Gently grasp your toes and pull them upwards, towards your body. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds. We recommend repeating this action three times per set, doing one set per session, and two sessions per day.
Want to take it one step further? Try these podiatrist-approved pro stretching tips:
Tip #1: Combining these stretches with foam rolling will maximize your flexibility, allowing you to apply direct pressure to sore muscles and roll out troubled areas or knots.
Tip #2: Whether or not you are experiencing concentrated pain, yoga is a great way to stretch the entire body AND focus on specific areas. Plus…who doesn’t love taking some time out of their day to channel their inner zen?
While these stretches are extremely useful for preventing ankle issues and managing existing pain, please remember that if any new pain arises, it’s your body’s way of telling you something’s wrong! Never hesitate to call us or make an appointment so that we can help you diagnose any conditions and create customized treatment plans.