Coping With Dodgy Ankle Joints
COPING WITH A WRONGLY-SET ANKLE
It's a sad fact, but medical science isn't perfect and there are occasions when a doctor re-sets a broken limb wrongly. This problem can be solved by the injured limb being re-broken and set again (ouch!), but if the patient doesn't choose this painful course of treatment they may subsequently suffer from joint problems in the future. If the limb in question is your ankle, you may find it painful to run or walk long distances, which can make staying fit and healthy tricky.
How can I strengthen a dodgy ankle joint?
With a wrongly-set ankle you will have to ensure that everything about your walking is ideal. Here are three recommendations to make a huge difference:
- Strengthen your ankle joint through basic balance exercises to allow it to cope better during impact work. Stand on 1 leg and see how much the ankle shakes as it tries to prevent you falling over. Start doing this balance exercise every other day for 3 sets of 1 minute on each leg. As your stability improves you will find it easier, resulting in a better protected ankle, regardless of it not being in the exact aligned position!
- Ensure your footwear is suitable! Purchase a very supportive trainer with lots of cushioning. Any specialist running shop can give you advice, and provide free gait assessments where they look at where the pressure is placed through the foot as you walk. This service allows you to get the EXACT trainer for your needs that will support you in walking longer distance and preventing injuries!
- Stretch lots! Assuming that your walk is affected by and has adapted to the original ankle trauma your walking style will influence the knee joints and lower back. The body never works in separate parts and if one joint is affected, another one will be. Therefore you need to be stretching on a very regular basis to prevent muscles getting to tight.
Your priority stretch should be a calf stretch:
Place a book (approx 3 inches in height) against a wall.
Place the ball of your foot on the book, making sure your heel is in contact with the floor and your foot is pointing forwards.
Keep the leg straight and use your other leg to support your body.
Lean hips in towards wall, till you feel a stretch in the back of lower leg.
Hold for 30 seconds, don't bounce.
This stretch has the potential to make a massive difference to your ankle so do it daily, especially before and after exercise!!