Foot/ ankle pain is very common. It can sometimes be concerning if it is very sore,
but it is rarely because of anything serious. The foot and ankle joints are built to be very strong and good at their job of holding your weight, walking and jumping. They are very difficult to damage.
What can I do to help?
Ice or heat: If your ankle is painful then applying an ice pack, hot water bottle or gels may be helpful for reducing pain. A packet of frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel works well as an ice pack. Leave the peas in place for up to 20 minutes at a time. This can be repeated several times a day. If using gels then check with your GP or Pharmacist if you have other health conditions/medications which may prevent this.
Reducing the strain on your ankle: The best advice is to continue to use your foot/ ankle as normally as you can. It may be sensible to make some adjustments to what you do with your foot/ ankle whilst they are sore but it is important to know that using your joints is safe and the right thing to do.
Rest: Aim for a balance between rest and exercise to prevent your ankle/foot from stiffening up. Try to avoid the movements that are most painful. However, it’s important to remain generally active even if you have to limit how much you do. You are safe to exercise and use your leg despite the fact that it might be a bit uncomfortable. Often, if you start avoiding things that you find difficult, it becomes more challenging to help your foot/ ankle.
Exercise: Exercise, particularly strengthening exercise, is the best medicine for most aches and pains including feet and ankles, even very sore joints. Exercise can be anything that challenges your muscles and does not need to mean going to the gym or the swimming pool, as not everyone enjoys these things. A little post exercise discomfort is not uncommon and not a sign of damage. If you experience pain that regularly lasts for more than 30 minutes after exercise and feel that overall your pain is worsening please stop the exercises and visit the contact us page to see how to be referred to our services.
Complete these Exercises once per day. Try and complete the exercises 10x per exercise.
If you can manage more then slowly increase the repetitions of each exercise.
Ankle range of movement
Sitting in your chair, practice moving your ankle up and down. Then practice turning your ankle inwards and outwards.
Standing tall slowly take a step forwards and then bend your front and back knees. If you need a support then use one either in front of you or to the side. Try and keep your foot knee and hip all in one straight line.
Single leg balance
Standing in front of a support practice talking one leg off the floor. If you need to use the support then hold on. Practice increasing the amount of time you hold your balance for.