4 Exercises to Counter Ankle Instability

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Long Island is called the “Cradle of Aviation” for the role it’s played in aerospace development, which is highlighted in the Cradle of Aviation Museum. This expansive museum is family-friendly, making it a great place to explore on weekends. Just make sure you plan for an afternoon full of walking! If you struggle with ankle instability, long periods of walking may concern you. The good news is that you can do physical therapy exercises to strengthen and stabilize ankles.

Normal, healthy ankles are fairly moveable. Tough, fibrous ligaments stabilize ankles by holding all the bones together and in their proper places. Repeated injuries can weaken these connectors, though, leaving them stretched out and loose. You develop chronic ankle instability, which can sharply limit your ability to push off the ground as well as cause lingering pain.

Fortunately, physical therapy can help strengthen your joints to combat any instability. Try a few of these exercises to stabilize your supporting muscles:

  • Heel raises – Standing with your feet apart, rise up slowly onto your toes, pulling your heels as high off the ground as you can. Lower to neutral and then repeat ten times.
  • Toe raises – Standing with your feet still apart, raise your toes off the ground as high as you can, balancing on your heels. Lower your toes after a few seconds, then repeat ten times.
  • Heel and toe walking – Walk in a straight line across a room balancing on your toes, without letting your heels touch the ground. Then cross the room again while walking on your heels, keeping your toes off of the ground.
  • Foot circles – Rotate your feet in ten to twenty circles at the ankle, first clockwise and then counterclockwise.

If exercises are not enough to support your weak ankles, you may need additional help from your footwear. Shoes with plenty of arch support and cushioned heels can make up for your loose ligaments. You may also need a brace to control the joint during hard impact activities, like running.

Ankle instability is an unfortunately common problem. It doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying your activities, though. Let the Country Foot Care staff in Long Island help you stabilize your ankles. If you would like to make an appointment for and exam and evaluation, please call either of our offices and a member of our friendly staff will be waiting to assist you.  For those who would like to request an appointment online, simply click on the MAKE AN APPOINTMENT button at the top of this page.

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