Injuries of the ankle are common among athletes and amateurs in many different sports and exercises. Working out at the gym, enjoying summer jogs, or playing any type of sport are typical ways to injure your ankle. Unfortunately, spraining, rolling, or fracturing your ankle is easy to do and will often occur again without the proper rehabilitation and strengthening of your ankle joint. Strengthening your ankles is also a great way to do thing outside of sports – such as wear high heeled shoes without wobbling!
There are many exercises and stretches you can do to strengthen your ankles, which can help to prevent future injury or help to recover from a previous ankle injury.
Working on your balance strengthens your ankles, as they are the joints that hold your weight steady on your feet. Try holding your weight on one foot, grabbing your opposite ankle behind your back. Work toward increasing the amount of time you balance on each foot. Eventually, work up to catching and throwing a ball while standing on one foot, or doing one-legged squats.
You can purchase the resistance bands you would find at your physical therapy gym for very little cost. Wrap them around the top of one foot and curl your toes to stretch your foot and ankle. Make sure to match the number of repetitions on the other foot. These bands can be used to stretch the foot and ankle is a variety of ways and directions – consult your physical therapist for proper form and technique.
Jumps and Skips
Another way to strengthen your ankles is to do exercises that require jumping or skipping. These work the muscles in your foot and your ankle. They get your ankles used to landing and absorbing that impact, as well as aiding your balance.
You can do jumping squats, scissors kicks, or do skips or bounds if you are exercising in a large area.
Weight loss from dieting can slow the progression of knee arthritis in overweight people, according to a new study.
But losing pounds from exercise alone will not help preserve those aging knees, the researchers found.
Obesity is a major risk factor for painful knee osteoarthritis — degeneration of cartilage caused by wear and tear. Weight loss can slow the disease, but it wasn’t clear until now if the method of weight loss made a difference.
Apparently, it does.
“These results add to the hypothesis that solely exercise as a regimen in order to lose weight in overweight and obese adults may not be as beneficial to the knee joint as weight loss regimens involving diet,” said lead author Dr. Alexandra Gersing.
Gersing made her comments in a news release from the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). She’s with the University of California, San Francisco’s department of radiology and biomedical imaging.
The study included 760 overweight or obese adults who had mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis or were at risk for it. The participants were divided into a “control group” of patients who lost no weight, and a group who lost weight through either a combination of diet and exercise, diet alone, or exercise alone.
After eight years, cartilage degeneration was much lower in the weight-loss group than in the control group. However, that was true only of people who lost weight through diet and exercise, or diet alone, the investigators found.
Study participants who exercised without changing their diet lost as much weight as those who slimmed down through diet plus exercise or diet alone, but there was no significant difference in cartilage degeneration compared to the control group.
The study was scheduled for presentation Tuesday at the annual meeting of the RSNA, in Chicago. Research presented at medical meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has more on knee arthritis.
SOURCE: Radiological Society of North America, news release, Nov. 28, 2017
Just a little physical activity seems to go a long way toward helping older adults with arthritis remain able to do daily tasks, a new study finds.
Older adults with arthritis-related joint pain and stiffness need to keep moving to remain functionally independent. But only 10 percent of older Americans with arthritis in their knees meet federal guidelines of at least 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, the researchers said.
However, this Northwestern University study found that doing even about one-third of that amount is still beneficial.
The study involved more than 1,600 adults 49 or older who had arthritic pain or stiffness in their hips, knees or feet.
Those who did a minimum of 45 minutes of moderate activity — such as brisk walking — a week were 80 percent more likely to improve or sustain physical function and gait speed over two years, compared with those who did less activity, the researchers found.
“Even a little activity is better than none,” said study first author Dorothy Dunlop.
“For those older people suffering from arthritis who are minimally active, a 45-minute minimum might feel more realistic,” said Dunlop, a professor of rheumatology and preventive medicine at Northwestern’s School of Medicine in Chicago.
She said the federal guidelines are important because the more you do, the better you’ll feel and the greater the health benefits.
“But even achieving this less rigorous goal will promote the ability to function and may be a feasible starting point for older adults dealing with discomfort in their joints,” Dunlop said in a university news release.
The study was published online recently in the journal Arthritis Care & Research.