Every year, 60,000 foot injuries keep people out of work. One of the most common types of foot injuries people sustain is ankle sprains. No matter what type of industry you’re in, just walking around normally can result in this injury, which is why ankle exercises are essential.
While there’s not a whole lot you can do at the moment (besides finding an experienced doctor), there are ways to prevent ankle sprains from happening.
To help strengthen your ankles and improve their flexibility, here are five easy ankle exercises you can do at work to prevent ankle injury.
First, we’ll start with the pump up. Flex your ankle upward as far as you can, as if to touch your toes to your shin (you shouldn’t be able to do so!).
Hold your ankle in this position for 30 seconds, making sure you’re working the muscle holding your ankle in place. Release and put your ankle back into resting position, then repeat this five times on each ankle.
For the ankle pump down, you’ll want to flex your ankle downward are far as you can. You’ll feel your calf muscles hard at work.
Hold your ankle in this position for 30 seconds, just like with the pump up. Release and go back into resting position and repeat five times on each ankle.
For the bent knee wall stretch, face a wall, and place one foot behind the other. Put your hands in front of you against the wall, bend both knees, then push forward with your hips. You should feel your calf being stretched.
Hold this position for 30 seconds, then relax. Do 3 sets of 10 of each leg, then gradually increase it to 3 sets of 30.
For the straight knee wall stretch, you’ll do something pretty similar. However, when you push against the wall, keep the back leg straight instead of bent.
Like with the first exercise, hold the position for 30 seconds, then relax. Start off with 3 sets of 10 with each leg and work up to 3 sets of 30.
To do toe raises, stand up next to a wall and hold onto it for support. Put yourself on your tiptoes, as far up as you can go.
Hold this position for 10 seconds, keeping the tension there. Then, release and relax.
You can start with three sets of 10, then gradually work your way up to 3 sets of 30. Once you’ve gained enough strength in your ankles, you can try doing toe raises on just one ankle to strengthen them even further.
This one is a fun exercise to do, although it’ll require you to take your shoes off. For this reason, you might want to save this exercise for when you’re on a lunch break or return home for the night.
Place around 20 little things on the floor, such as pebbles or hard candies. Using only your feet and toes, neatly stack the items from one pile to another. Do three sets three times a day.
This is a great exercise to do in the summer when it’s hot, as you’ll get to cool yourself off. However, this is another exercise you’ll have to do without shoes on, so it may not always be feasible in the office.
Fill up a water bottle and freeze it overnight. When you want to do the ice bottle massage, take it out and place it underneath your foot.
Put your foot over it and roll it around for 5 minutes without stopping. Do this three times per day for each foot.
What if these exercises are too late to save a sprained ankle? Or what if, despite your best efforts, you’ve still injured yourself?
Then you’ll need to take quick and proper action to reduce your symptoms and get on the road to recovery promptly.
To do this, you’ll need to follow the RICE method. This stands for “rest, ice, compression, elevation.”
If it hurts, then stop putting weight on it. You need to avoid walking if possible. If you keep walking normally on it, not only will it hurt more, but it’ll also cause more bruising to appear.
Most doctors suggest you rest your ankle for 24 to 48 hours.
To reduce swelling and pain, the next thing you’ll want to do is ice your ankle. Wrap an ice pack in a towel and apply it to your ankle for 15 to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours. Do so for the first 24 to 48 hours after your sprain.
To further prevent your ankle from swelling, you’ll need to wrap the ankle in a bandage. Make sure it’s not too tight, as that’ll prevent proper blood flow.
You’ll need to raise your ankle above your heart to further reduce your pain and swelling. The easiest way to do this is to sit on a sofa and prop your leg up on the side. You can also ice it while you’re doing so.
While you may get lucky and only sustain a light ankle sprain at times, you won’t always be so fortunate. All it takes is one split second for you to twist your ankle seriously, and you’ll be out of commission for work.
By doing these ankle exercises while you’re at work, you’ll decrease the chances of injury and keep your ankles nice and healthy. Depending on your job, you can even multitask and get work done while strengthening your ankles!
If your ankle’s already injured or you have any other work-related injuries, you should seek compensation for it.
Call 1-800-897-8440 to find a reputable workers’ compensation doctor near you today and get back to being healthy you again!
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