HOW ANKLE ALPHABETS CAN HELP!
I am going to tell you today how ANKLE ALPHABETS can help. What, you ask? Yes, ankle alphabets!
Many years ago while living in Georgetown, my right ankle suddenly started swelling. It was painful! I did not recall an injury at that time. I could not remember falling over. There was no twist that caused this pain. Eventually, the swelling and pain became so severe I went to see my Primary Care Provider. I had an x-ray done that revealed a small healed fracture in my ankle. Though it had healed well, my doctor did believe that this was likely the cause of my swelling and pain.
This pain was new and I understood what had likely brought it on. I had launched Fat and Fit Inc. and was teaching several group exercise classes each week. I had become much more physically active and I had gained weight. Both of these had increased the stress in my body.
For rehabilitation, my PHP suggested ankle alphabets!!
You too can help ankle stability, safety, mobility and strength by performing ankle alphabets. They can be performed in bed, in a chair or while standing. These movements will also help strengthen and work the other muscles in your foot. The ankle is a complex joint involving muscles, tendons and ligaments. Ankle alphabets are particularly helpful because they promote full range of motion in these soft tissues of the joint.
As always, start by warming up your ankle joint by doing some ankle circles, side-to-side movements and some flexion and extension.
Next, perform the ankle alphabets. Start by pointing your big toe away from you which extends your foot out. Now you use your big toe like you would a pointer to “trace” the alphabet. Use capital letters and then small letters to take your toe, foot and ankle through the range of motion, to draw out the alphabet in the air. You will feel your muscles in your ankle and foot stretching and contracting as you make these movements. You can trace the alphabet with your foot from 1 to 3 times.
ADD SOME BALANCE
If you are able and want to make this routine more challenging, you can stand and balance on one leg while doing the ankle alphabets with the other. You can hold onto a counter top or chair while doing this as well. This would add stability if needed. You can also include this as part of a head-to-toe stretch.
As with any other exercise please be cautious and listen to your body. You may not be able to do the entire alphabet capital and/or small letters even one time at first. Be aware of pain in the ankle, be aware of how the joint feels as you make the movements. Stop if the pain increases. Over time, you will be able to increase the number of times you can move your ankle through these range-of-motion alphabet exercises.
I hope you find this helpful with ankle range of motion, comfort, strength and flexibility. Remember, the ankle is only one of the joints crucial to stability, strength and mobility.
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LIVEFATANDFIT AND BE WELL!