Because the ankle is a major weight-bearing joint that takes the brunt of the impact from activities like running and jumping, it is no surprise that ankle injuries like sprains, strains, and fractures are incredibly common. Unfortunately, many people who sustain seemingly minor ankle injuries never fully recover their strength, mobility, and stability in that joint. Therefore, it’s essential to use an abundance of caution with any ankle injury and follow a few practices to prevent injuries in the first place.
Don’t Ignore What Seems Like a Minor Injury
Especially if you are just getting back into a more active routine, ankle injuries should not be ignored. Even what seems like a minor injury could cause significant problems if the injury is not given time to heal properly. Visiting an urgent care clinic or your primary care physician will guide you to the appropriate course of treatment, which may include visiting a physical therapist along with getting plenty of rest for the affected joint.
Stretch It Out
Stretching the ankle is important for maintaining mobility and flexibility. Before beginning any exercise routine, start with a gentle warmup like a short bike ride or walk. Once your muscles are warmed up, you can perform a few simple stretches like seated ankle circles and heel-toe raises to lubricate the joint and prepare yourself for a more intense workout. Strengthening the muscles in the lower body can also take pressure off the joints, so consider adding some squats, lunges, and step ups to your workout routine.
Rebuild Strength Gradually
If you have suffered an injury or you are just beginning your fitness journey to get in better shape, the key to preventing further injuries is to start small. Begin building strength in the joints with non-weight-bearing exercises performed lying down. Then, you can advance to seated exercises that will allow for partial weight-bearing. Once those become easier, you can move onto full weight-bearing exercises and stretches in a standing position.
Injuries don’t always come at the most convenient times. Fortunately, MeMD can provide the care you need anytime, anywhere. Our online medical visits are affordable, accessible, and available 24/7, so you can address injuries like sprains and muscle strains quickly and easily.