Our ankles are vital in supporting our body weight and facilitating movement. However, they are also vulnerable to several injuries and conditions affecting their daily tasks and quality of life. Proper ankle care is essential to avoid injuries and maintain optimal functionality. This article will explore various ankle care tips to keep your ankles healthy and discuss when it’s ideal to seek the expertise of an orthopedic surgeon.
Ankle Care Tips
Some tips can help you keep your ankle healthy and robust. An orthopedic surgeon will advise you to consider the following hacks to enhance the wellbeing of your ankles.
- Maintain a Healthy Weight
Excess weight can put a strain on your ankles. This can significantly increase the risk of injuries such as sprains and fractures. A balanced diet and regular physical activity can aid you in maintaining a healthy weight and reduce the pressure on your ankles.
- Warm-Up and Stretch
Most people engage in sports and other physical activities during their free time. Also, some undertake such activities as their hobbies. However, always warm up before engaging in physical activities or sports and perform ankle-specific stretches. These stretches can aid in improving ankle flexibility and reduce the risk of strains.
- Wear Proper Footwear
The type of shoe you choose might impact your ankle positively or negatively. Therefore select footwear that provides adequate ankle support, especially during activities that involve running or jumping. High-quality, well-fitted shoes can significantly reduce the risk of ankle injuries.
- Avoid Overexertion and Take Breaks
Don’t push yourself too hard during physical activities. Gradually increase the intensity and duration of your exercises to allow your ankles to adapt to the workload. Moreover, if your job or lifestyle involves prolonged periods of standing or walking, take short breaks to rest your ankles and prevent overuse injuries.
When to See an Orthopedic Surgeon
While you can manage most ankle injuries with conservative treatments, there are cases where the expertise of an orthopedic surgeon becomes necessary. Here are some signs indicating you should seek an orthopedic surgeon’s help.
- Persistent and Severe Pain
It could indicate an underlying orthopedic condition if you experience persistent and severe joint and muscle pain that doesn’t improve with rest or over-the-counter pain medications. This type of pain may interfere with your daily routine and affect your quality of life; ideally, you visit an orthopedic surgeon.
- Limited Range of Motion
If you notice a significant reduction in your ability to move a joint or limb as freely as before, it may indicate joint degeneration, injury, or other musculoskeletal issues. An orthopedic surgeon can assess the situation and recommend suitable treatment options to enhance mobility.
- Swelling and Inflammation
Swelling around a joint, accompanied by redness and warmth, indicates inflammation due to various conditions, like arthritis or ligament injuries. An orthopedic evaluation can aid in identifying the cause of the swelling and initiate suitable interventions.
Taking good care of your ankles is essential for maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle. By following the above ankle care tips, you can minimize the risk of injuries and enhance the overall well-being of your ankles. Additionally, if you notice some of the signs above, it’s ideal you seek the help of an orthopedic surgeon.