Being active in a place that gets as warm as Arizona means learning to adapt. You have to take care of your body and adjust for the temperature when you run or play sports. Understanding how to adapt can help you in other areas, too, not just for the heat. It can also benefit you in your recovery from painful problems that make it difficult to run or participate in sports, like chronic ankle instability. Unstable ankles can dramatically change how your lower limbs handle pressure, so treating the problem and learning to adapt to it is important.
Chronic ankle instability is a side effect of either a sprain that didn’t heal correctly or multiple sprains to the same joint. In either case, the supporting ligaments are left damaged and unable to stabilize your ankle, making running and other sports very difficult. Treating the condition correctly helps you heal your joint as well as adapt so you can continue your activities.
Here are a few ways you can strengthen and support your ankle:
- Strength exercises – Physical therapy can help build up power in the muscles around your joint, so they can stabilize it. Calf raises, ankle circles, and other similar exercises work well for this.
- Balance exercises – Balancing requires stability, so exercises that carefully improve your ability to balance on your injured leg can help your joint adapt as well.
- Braces for activities – Strenuous activities may be too much for your loose joint. Wear an ankle brace that allows you to move appropriately but will protect your joint from “giving out.”