Of the four pairs of load-bearing joints, the ankles are the champion weight lifters: They support nearly 100 percent of the body’s weight and, as a result, about 20 percent of all sports injuries involve the ankle. Games that require leaping, landing, sudden change of direction, and playing on uneven playing surfaces account for most ankle damage.
Account for? Shouldn’t we say cause? No: Basketball, running, hiking, walking, and other activities are not to blame for
ankle damage. Ankles can handle the requirements of an NBA player or weekend hiker with equal ease. A functional ankle can, that is. It’s the dysfunctional ankles that gets hurt most often.
You see, gravity and proper postural alignment of all your joints serve to support your ankles and to strengthen them by evenly distributing the load. But when the load isn’t distributed evenly among the eight joints, they can take more weight distributed unevenly than they are designed to manage, making it more likely a wrong step will result in a turned ankle.
So how do you fix the root cause of your ankle pain? The solution is not surgery, braces, splints, orthotics, or special high-top shoes. The secret is making sure your body is in proper alignment.
1. Start in the hooklying position with your
knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Feet are wider than hips and pointed straight ahead.
*Arms should be out to the side at a 45 degree angle, palms up.
2. Slowly drop both knees to one side then reverse to the opposite side.
*The outside of one knee and the inside of the other knee will be reaching toward the floor. Your feet will roll from outer edge to inner edge as you go back and forth, like a windshield wiper.
3. Keep your upper body relaxed.
Make sure your down leg’s foot is pointing to the ceiling.