Wrists and ankles are complicated joints. Their range of motion and versatility are remarkable. And ankles have a difficult task: supporting the entire human frame. Even during the course of a ho-hum, low productive day, they take thousands of impacts. Imagine the strain they’re under on days when you’re loading a moving truck, standing on asphalt in lines at a theme park, or rushing heavy bags across an airport.
Whether you’re an amateur athlete or just an average Joe, everyone is prey to the same momentary loss of balance or absent-minded twist that results in ankle injury. Often, we don’t truly appreciate ankle health until we’re hopping from the porch to the car, cursing our sprain. And once this key body part is injured, it’s all too easy to keep re-traumatizing it by overdoing things.
If you’ve ever had a moderate or serious ankle injury—even decades ago—it’s possible that you never fully restored its strength and range of motion. The muscles that operate it may have microscopic “scar tissue” adhesions in the fascia, or they may simply be weak from lack of exercise. Guard yourself against future accidents by strengthening typical “trouble spot” body parts, before they become a chronic injury.
And if you do have an ongoing ankle problem, there are still rehabilitative exercises you can incorporate into your treatment plan. Be sure to consult your doctor before getting started, though, in case certain exercises are contra-indicated. Listen to your body, and if something is too painful, stop until you’re under the supervision of your health professional. Don’t forget to use ice or heat, as advised.