What Are Ankle Sprains?
Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries, especially in sports. A sprained ankle is caused by rolling, twisting, or turning your ankle in an unusual position. This can cause the ligaments that keep your ankle bones together to strain or rip. Ankle mobility is really important when it comes to preventing ankle sprains. Ankle mobility refers to the flexibility of your ankle joint and its surrounding muscles and tendons. Having poor ankle mobility makes you more susceptible to ankle sprains and other foot injuries.
What Causes Poor Ankle Mobility?
Poor ankle mobility can be caused by having:
- A lack of flexibility in the calf and back of the leg muscles
- Stiffness of ankle joints and muscles from a previous injury or surgery
- Flat feet (limits regular ankle movements)
Having a lack of flexibility in your calf and leg muscles can prevent dorsiflexion, the upward bending of your foot towards the ceiling. Since dorsiflexion is one of the regular ankle movements, not being able to dorsiflex limits ankle motion and can cause your ankles to shift in an irregular position, ultimately causing a sprain or other serious injuries.
Ankle joints and the surrounding muscles around them can become stiff over time if ankle mobility is not maintained. Having stiff joints or muscles can also limit the ankle’s range of motion, and as a result, increases the person’s risk of an ankle sprain.
Believe it or not, your foot type also determines your proneness to experiencing an ankle sprain. Having flat feet, in particular, can lead to irregular foot movements which can place additional stress on your ankle joints, increasing the likelihood of ankle sprains. This, however can be avoided by having proper shoes or custom-made orthotics . For more information on custom-made orthotics contact our mobility specialists in our Burlington clinic at 289-245-6624.
Incorporating ankle exercises and stretches can help increase your ankle mobility and strength and can help avoid ankle sprains and other foot injuries. Whether you play sports or enjoy being active, strong and flexible ankles will help you with your every day-to-day tasks and will prevent you from many injuries.
Here are 5 ankle exercises to add to your routine, try these 3-5 times a week for optimal results:
1) Elevated Calf Raises
Compared to floor calf raises, elevated calf raises will flex the ankles more all while helping you strengthen your calf and shin muscles.
Lunges is a great full-body exercise that will help you strengthen your quadriceps, core, gluteus, and hamstrings muscles. Lunges also help strengthen your ankles and improve your overall balance.
3) Rope Jumping
Rope jumping is a great aerobic and strengthening exercise! It is also a full-body exercise that targets multiple muscle groups. This exercise places a majority of your body weight on your lower leg, which makes it a significant exercise for strengthening the tendons, ligaments, and muscles of the ankles.
4) Ankle Dorsiflexion
This exercise involves pulling your toes towards you while using a resistance band to flex or bend your ankle in a dorsiflexion position to improve flexibility and range of motion.
5) Jump Squats
A jump squat is a great exercise for strengthening your calf and lower leg muscles and for improving your ankle’s range of motion. The movement of landing from a jump can help increase ankle dorsiflexion and limit knee injuries.
Your way to strong ankles and healthy feet begin at Mobility on Mainway! Our Pedorthists in Burlington are highly experienced and equipped with the best technology and training. Contact us today at 289-245-6624 for all of your feet and ankle needs.