In this article, I’m talking about Ankle Exercises.
Why Use Balance Exercises?
The use of balance exercises can improve joint stability and overall strength in joints that have been injured. Joint stability occurs when the nerve cells within the joints are healthy. These nerve cells, called proprioceptors, help you maintain balance during various forms of movement.
When you injure the nerve cells, such as with a sprain, you must retrain the nerve pathways to recognize the position of the joint. Proprioception is the body’s ability to know where your body is in space (“position sense”).
For instance, if you close your eyes and move your arm around, you stimulate the proprioceptors in the shoulder and your brain knows where your arm is in space, even though you can’t see it.
What Happens When Proprioceptors are Damaged?
If your shoulder proprioceptive cells were damaged and were unable to send the proper nerve signal to the brain, you would not know if your arm was in front of you or behind you. Long term function of the shoulder is in peril if the proprioceptors are not re-trained properly.
Permanent proprioceptive loss is possible and shows up as “weak ankles” or joints that are continually re-injured. This functional instability can degrade performance and increase the risk of recurrence.
Home Balance Exercises for The Lower Extremity: Ankle Exercises
Stretches for the Ankle: Ankle Exercises
Stand arm’s length from a wall and lean forward with your hands against the wall. Move one foot forward and one foot backs a bit. Keep the heel of the back leg flat on the floor. Stretch forward until you feel the stretch in the back of the knee. Hold for 10 seconds. Unlock the back knee, bend it toward the wall until you feel the stretch above the knee. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 8 to 10 times. Here you know about shalimar game.
Ankle and Calf Stretch
Sit back in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Keeping your heels on the floor, lean forward in the chair. If necessary, push your knees down. Hold for 45 seconds. Repeat 5 to 10 times.
Passive Exercises for the Ankle: Ankle Exercises
Sit on the floor or in a chair. Remove shoes and socks. Moving only your ankle, draw circles. Repeat 10 to 20 times.
Drawing The Alphabet
Sit on the floor or in a chair. Remove shoes and socks. Moving only your ankle, draw the alphabet on the floor. Do the entire alphabet once.
Balance Exercises To Stabilize the Ankle
Coaches across the country have used balance or “wobble” board training, even on their un-injured athletes, incorporating proprioceptive exercise into their overall training program. These exercises are specifically designed to increase activation of the nerve cells and therefore affect the central nervous system pathway to the brain, resulting in heightened function.
Balance/Wobble Boards: Ankle Exercises
The use of balance boards are the most common form of proprioceptive training, and they are easy to use. They help rehabilitate injured ankles and knees. The balance boards offer improved joint stability and reduce re-injury rates. Balance boards work because they help re-train nerve cells recognize the position of the ankle or knee.
The repeated use of balance boards establishes new neurological pathways from the injured joint to the brain. By using these types of exercise, you have the best chance of remaining injury free and of minimizing of chronic long-term injury.
A wobble board is a circular or oval piece of wood placed on top of a ball. The wood should be about three-quarters of an inch thick and two feet in circumference. The ball should be about the size of a softball. Set the wobble board on the ball near a counter or a table.
Hold onto the counter and balance on the board with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Begin moving, at first very slowly; see-saw and pivot as you feel comfortable. Go very slowly and safely at first, building to more aggressive activity in a few weeks.
An exercise partner can be helpful. The partner challenges a person’s stability while he or she is standing on one leg, gently touching the person in one direction and then the other. The person will have to react and use his or her proprioceptors to respond to the position change.
Mini Trampoline Exercises
Stand on a mini trampoline with one foot. Work up to two minutes without falling, then switch to the other ankle. When you can stand for two minutes without falling, add a new twist by tossing a volleyball-sized ball into the air and catching it while standing on one foot.
This helps your balance or proprioception react more quickly to the changes in body position due to throwing and catching the ball. Perform this once a day for 60 days. You can usually find mini trampolines at K-Mart, Target or Sears for under $20.
Resistive Exercises to Strengthen the Ankle: Ankle Exercises
Resistive Tubing Exercises
Theraband makes a great product made of elastic tubing that helps strengthen the ankle joint. Use the manufacturer’s directions for ankle exercises.
Stand with the balls of your feet and your toes on a thick book (e.g., a phone book). Hold on to a support. Lower your heels to the floor slowly. Raise yourself slowly as far as you can. Hold for 8 to 10 seconds. Repeat 15 to 20 times.
Walking on Heels: Ankle Exercises
When standing, raise your toes above the ground. Start moving, just on your high heel shoes. Take steps 10 to 20.
Place a towel on the floor near your chair. Sit down, placing the toes of one foot on the towel. Use your toes to scrunch up the cloth. Keep your heels flat on the floor. Repeat 10 to 20 times. Allow the muscles around the ankle to be exercised while easing the stress on the ligaments by doing step-ups/downs, single-leg balance, and lunge.
A wobble board (balance board) is a very useful device for stretching and strengthening your ankles and for improving balance.
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