Stronger Ankles Mean Better Balance

Ankle stretchAmerica is aging, and that means more and more people are at increased risk for falling. About 1 in 3 people over 65 and more than half over 80 will experience a fall this year. At the same time, ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries for people of all ages, and a history of sprains (or even just one that doesn’t heal properly) can also cause chronic balance issues even for young adults and middle-agers.

Even those who don’t fall still might find that their increased wobbliness is keeping them from going out and enjoying leisure activities or accomplishing their daily tasks and chores, and from living the life they want to live.

The good news is that there is no age, weight, or health limit on improving balance. Whether your decline in sturdiness is related to age or injury, regular exercises to strengthen ankles and improve balance can help keep you steadier on your feet, and healthier, for longer.

One word of caution, of course: don’t rush to begin a physical therapy program before consulting with a professional, especially if you have any concerns about your age or health status. We can help you develop a program that will build ankle strength and improve balance safely and effectively.

Depending on your specific condition and needs, different exercises can be most effective. These may include very simple maneuvers like standing on one foot (whether flat on the floor or on a pillow or wobble board) to improve proprioception and coordination, or using resistance bands or fixed objects to build strength. Stronger muscles around the ankle, of course, steady your stance and allow you to absorb greater impact forces without pain or wobbling.

If weak ankles or balance issues are affecting your life, don’t give up! Just a few simple exercises per day really can help keep you more stable, active, healthy, and happy. Give Dr. Danciger a call to see what kind of program is best for you. To schedule an appointment with us, please fill out an online contact form of call 760-568-0108 today.

Dr. Harvey Danciger
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Dr. Harvey Danciger is a podiatrist and foot surgeon in Palm Desert, CA specializing in the foot and ankle
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