Ankle stability or lack of in my case. If you read our blog regularly you will know Im all about the feet. I want everyone to have fully functional feet that are capable of full movement to protect the rest of the body from injury. Having feet and ankles that are capable of their full range of movement is really important but having the strength to cope with the movement is equally important. On uneven ground my very flexible, mobile ankles roll easily which can lead to falls, although thanks to all my Pilates I do stay upright but it does mean I sprain my ankles a lot.
The ankles and foot have lots of muscles, tendons and ligaments. Ligaments help stabilise the ankle but they are non elastic so once stretched they do not regain their original length becoming less effective at stabilising the ankle joint. When people sprain their ankle its usually their lateral (the ones on the outside of the foot and ankle) ligaments that are damaged, slight sprains classed as a level 1 sprain recover quite quickly despite the poor blood supply, level 2 sprains take longer to recover from and level 3 is a complete rupture of the ligament.
When ligaments are damaged they become weakened so its important to rehabilitate these injuries correctly. Once pain and swelling have subsided and you have your movement back its time to start to work on stabilising the ankle and teaching the ligaments integrity again. You can do this by balance exercises detailed below or check out our you tube channel.
Exercise 1- Stand on one leg without holding on to anything, make this more challenging by closing your eyes. Progression – pile up some cushions and again stand on 1 leg for unto a minute, close your eyes to make it more challenging.
Exercise 2 – Cushion walk – whilst you’ve got the cushions out from balancing, lay them in a line, this works best if they’re different shapes and sizes. Walk along the cushions without wobbling off.
I hope these exercises help and if you want to learn more about foot biomechanics check out our foot foundations programme.