For the infinite steps that you are going to take in your life, you will need healthy feet and ankles. We look after our body, skin, muscles, and health but often overlook foot and ankle health forgetting that these together help in mobility and maintaining our independence. To take some joyous steps in life and keep moving forward actively you need to practice and adopt a few new habits that will help to strengthen your ankle and feet. Some of the habits that you must adapt and a few things that you must avoid for your happier and healthier self are:
- Do stretching daily;
- Do activities that make you bear the weight;
- Lose weight so that you don’t put pressure on your feet;
- Stop smoking;
- Wear comfortable shoes.
BTW, did you know in your entire lifetime you will walk about 100,000 miles! So, why not keep a check on the health of your feet and ankles?
Nobody wants to get injured but sometimes even while performing normal daily activities and overusing our muscles we end up injuring ourselves. At one time or another in our lives, we have had a minor toe, ankle or foot injury that leads to swelling or pain and the reason behind being the excessive use and exerting of the muscles.
Of course, prevention is better than cure, but in case you face an injury then you must also be aware of the simple ways in which you can treat the problem. You need to first understand the different types of foot and ankle injuries. Once you get to know how serious it is only then you can proceed further and take steps to treat it. We have compiled a few simple and easy ways for you to recover from foot and ankle injuries.
Work on reducing the swelling first!
You cannot afford to put any pressure on the ankle and the foot as it is already damaged and walking on it will further deteriorate the condition. Wondering what could be done to avoid putting any pressure on the ankle and the foot? You can either use crutches or a supportive ankle brace. For those who do not know the use of ankle brace, let us introduce you to this one great ankle garment. Basically, Ankle Brace helps to protect and immobilize the joint while also providing it with compression and heat.
Apart from this, there is one recommended therapy that is advised by doctors world over to treat any foot injury, known as R.I.C.E.
Do you want to know what does it mean? Practice RICE (Rest. Ice. Compress. Elevate.) It is one important step that will uncomplicate the process of recovery.
There is another acronym “PRICE” which is known for managing injuries like a sprain. It is different from R.I.C.E. as it emphasizes protecting the injured limb along with the other steps that include rest, ice, compression, and elevation. P.R.I.C.E. is an effective method prescribed by health professionals. For your proper understanding of the concept of P.R.I.C.E. we have tried to explain it in detail below:
P stands for protection where you have to sit and lie down to take the pressure off your ankle. If you put any pressure on your ankle then it can further deteriorate the condition.
R means Rest. Limit your walking and save yourself from moving around without placing any pressure on your ankle. For a sooner recovery rest is advised so the natural healing elements of the body come into play.
I stand for ice. Use a pack of frozen corn and peas and place it over the injury so that you get instant relief from the pain.
C means compression which involves applying pressure to the sprained ankle and the surrounding areas.
E means to elevate. When in the recovery process keep your leg or ankle elevated so that blood flows to all the areas that need complete healing.
This therapy is helpful when it has not reached the later stages. If your injury shows the sign of the later stages then it means that now you need a higher form of treatment which is not possible at home. So, in that case, visit your doctor at the earliest.
Gain Range Motion
After a few days when your ankle has started recovering, it is very important that you bring your ankle back in motion and if you are unable to do so then it would lead to building up of the scar tissue muscle. Perform special ankle exercises prescribed by a doctor or a physical therapist that will help you to get your strength and flexibility back. One exercise for gaining your flexibility and strength back is by performing exercises. You can perform a simple and basic exercise by making an alphabet with your toes. It isn’t easy as it sounds but this simple therapy will help to remove the scar tissue.
Slowly return to activity
By this, we do not mean that you should start doing the activities that you have been doing before you got injured. No! Slowly slip into daily activities; go for a slow walk, perform light exercises build stability and balance.
Here are a few sets of exercises that will help to stretch your toes, ankles, soleus and gastrocnemius muscles
- Toe Extensor Stretch;
- Toe Flexor Stretch;
- Gastrocnemius Stretch and Single Soleus;
- Ankle Inversion Stretch and Plantar Flexor;
- Plantar Flexor and Ankle Eversion Stretch.
While the above-mentioned instructions for treating ankle injuries are appropriate, effective and practiced throughout the world, it is highly advised to consult a doctor at the earliest convenience once you get injured. To begin with any treatment you need to first know about the intensity of the injury which only a doctor can diagnose.