Goodbye Ankle Pain, 3 Steps to Stronger Ankles
“To build a temple, you have to lay a solid foundation”
Ankle pain is a common complaint our Brookvale chiropractors treat. The Ankle joint literally carries the weight of the world on its shoulders. Decrease ankle pain by restoring proper ankle mobility and building up your ankle strength. You will make see and deal improvements in any exercise in which the foot is in contact with the floor.
Your ankle joint draws majority of its movement from dorsiflexion (pulling your toes towards your head), and plantar flexion (standing on your tippy toes). Proper ankle mobility can increase strength and decrease risk of injury. It might even add a few kg’s to your squat.
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What Causes ankle pain and mobility issues?
- Tight calf muscles
- Scar tissue from previous trauma (sprained ankles, surgery)
- Wearing high heels
- Anterior pelvic tilt
- history of lower limb injuries
How’s your Ankle mobility?
Knee to Wall test:
- Stand with your right foot perpendicular to the wall.
- With your big toe 10 cm from the wall and knee in line with the second toe.
- Bend the right knee and try to touch the wall in front with it.
- Make sure we keep the hips square to the wall and heel on the ground.
- If successful, move 2cm from the wall and repeat the process until maximum distance is found.
- Repeat on Left leg.
Unweighted ankle plantar flexion:
- Begin lying on your back with your feet in a vertical position.
- Under control, point your toes away from you as far as possible
- Hold at your end range of motion.
- The goal is to achieve at least 20 degrees range of motion, and ideally 30.
- Visually if you reach a flat line between your foot and shin you have optimal range of motion passing the test.
If you are unable to reach 20 degrees. Or could not touch the knee to the wall with your big toe at least 10cm from the wall. Give the exercises below a go.
Improve Ankle Pain
Restore mobility: Foam rolling of the calves
- Lay with foam roller perpendicular to the leg
- Roll up the entirety if the calf (from behind the heel, to behind the knee) 3-5 times
- Starting from behind the heel, slowly roll up the back of the calf and stop at any sore spots (knots) and hold for 30 secs – 1min
- until the knot “dissolves” under the roller.
*This advice is for people experiencing muscle soreness, post exercise. If you are experiencing calf pain after surgery, or after periods of travel, please consult a qualified health care professional (we are located in Brookvale).
Transform Movement: Knee to Wall mobilization
- This is the same movement as the knee to wall test above
- Repeat the knee to wall touches 10x, then
- Move the toes back a few cm and repeat.
- As always repeat on opposite leg
Strengthen Your Ankles: Calf raises:
- Stand with the balls of your feet on a step or a 5kg weight plate under each foot.
- With a slight bend in the knees, slowly raise the heel of your feet in the air as if standing on your tippy toes.
- Pause for 1-2 secs
- Slowly lower the heels, returning to starting position