Keep Your Ankle Strong with these Physiotherapy Exercises
Domlur, Bengaluru Feb 9, 2017
As we age, the joints in our body inevitably tend to stiffen, causing a lot of discomfort in the long run. In fact, injuries suffered at a tender age might have long-term implications as well, and later surface as severe lifelong problems. Taking proper care of your ankles, strengthening them, and minimizing the effects of injury are therefore absolutely crucial, since the pain tends to worsen every time the condition is left untreated. Planning a well thought-out schedule replete with suitable physiotherapy exercises is generally recommended to most patients suffering from acute or severe ankle pain.
The most frequently advised set of ankle strengthening exercises are stated below. What needs mentioning beforehand is that, during the early stages, any kind of exercise that involves sideways movement at your ankle must be strictly avoided. With time, they may be incorporated in the regime, after having considered progress and the ability of the patient.
1. RESISTED PLANTAR FLEXION:
A resistance band is looped around the forefoot in this case, and the patient is instructed to hold onto both the ends. The foot is then pointed away slowly, enabling it to return to a resting position. Once accustomed to this routine, the strength of the band can be increased. You may also proceed to calf-raise exercises right after. The same exercise can be then repeated by making use of a bent knee in order to aim at the soleus muscle of the lower calf area.
2. RESISTED DORSIFLEXION:
A rehabilitation band is employed to pull the foot along with the toes up, first against resistance and after that, it is pulled down again. 10-20 reps, accompanied by 3 sets are considered to be the optimal number while adhering to this exercise pattern. Despite being a crucial part of the entire strengthening regime, one must note that over-doing it might result in grave consequences.
3. ISOMETRIC INVERSION AND EVERSION:
The aim of these exercises is to provide strength to the muscles which aid in controlling the ankle’s ‘rolling’ action. Isometric refers to complete absence of movement at the joints during the entire course of the exercise. For inversion isometrics, adopt the following set of movements:
a.The foot must be placed against a closed door or a wall as previously.
b. The foot must then be pushed inwards toward the object to trigger a muscle contraction in the process.
c. Hold this for a span of 15 minutes and then simultaneously relax the foot for 10 seconds.
d. When strength at the ankle increases, this exercise may be extended by taking help of a therapist who may then move his hands accordingly against the ankle to make it react in order to prevent it from moving.
For eversion isometrics, adopt the following set of movements:
a. Place your foot against a chair leg or a wall.
b. By not moving the ankle joint, try to push the foot involved outwards the object in order to carry out a muscle contraction.
c. Hold this for a minimum of 15 seconds and then relax for another 8-10 seconds.
d. In the case of trouble holding the foot against the object, ask another person to provide resistance with his hands.
Eversion can also be performed using a resistance band
4 .RESISTED ECCENTRIC INVERSION
This exercise targets at minimizing the very chances of injury from recurring. The patient is instructed to resist his therapist or the partner involved from turning or everting the foot outwards. The result is simply that the muscles involved in stabilizing the ankles at the very point where it might sprain or roll over, are effectively strengthened. The resistance must be gradually built up while following this exercise. The active participation of a partner or a therapist is therefore indispensable in this regard.