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How to Steady Your Unstable Ankle

For many people, rolling their ankles frequently and having to take time off to let minor ankle injuries heal just feels like an unavoidable part of life. This lower quality of life is not something you should just accept, however, and there are many things you can do to build up stability, prevent injuries, and stay active without ankle problems. Read on to learn more about ankle stability exercises and other things you can do to address ankle problems.

Common Causes of Ankle Instability

Before starting your corrective exercises, it can be helpful to know the root cause of your ankle problems in the first place. For some people, one acute injury or ankle sprain can make you more prone to future injuries. Other people just have abnormally loose ankle ligaments, making them more prone to instability. Poor form, inappropriate footwear choices, and lack of strength and conditioning in the joint can also worsen the problem but are easily corrected and addressed.

Exercises to Build Ankle Stability

If you experience ankle instability and want to help build up the muscles in your feet and ankles that support the joint, there are a few key movements to start with. First, start with some simple balancing exercises. Try standing on one leg, and build up to standing on that foot without additional support for 30 seconds at a time. For an added challenge, try balancing while bending your supporting leg or stand on a squishy mat for added instability.

Some seated exercises can also be helpful in building ankle stability. Use a pillow or stack of books so you can sit on a chair and have your feet hang 2 inches from the floor. Tap your toes onto the floor, then do the same with your heels. Alternate back and forth, slowly isolating the movements. Gradually build up speed, resting after 50 repetitions. Repeat 2-3 times. Then, in the same format, tap the inner edge of your foot’s arch on the floor, then the outer edge of your foot, working on lateral stability.

For even more challenging stability exercises that can help with foot and ankle steadiness, use a wobble board, BOSU platform, or other balance device for basic balancing or more advanced exercise movements.

Choose the Correct Footwear

In addition to adding ankle-targeting exercises to your daily and weekly routine, be sure to choose the correct footwear for the activity you’re doing. Even people without ankle stability problems are asking for trouble if they don’t choose supportive running shoes, hiking footwear, soccer cleats, etc. Your doctor or an employee at a footwear store can help you make a smart, supportive choice.

See a Specialist

If making these changes on your own just doesn’t seem to cut it, you should see an ankle and foot specialist in the Woodlands, TX. From physical therapy techniques to foot or ankle surgery and other procedures, your team of experts can figure out a plan to address the root of the problem. To have a professional check out your ankle and help correct the problem, set up an appointment with the Ankle & Foot Specialists of Conroe today!