Due to hurricane damage, the Havelock location is closed until further notice. Havelock therapists Hannah Zhang, Sarah Hall and Judy Hickes are available to see patients at the New Bern location. Please call the New Bern location at (252) 636-9800 to discuss your care.

Three exercises to help address sharp pain in your ankle

Sharp Pain in Ankle

Experiencing a sharp pain in your ankle when you first wake up? Do you also feel it when you get up after sitting for a while? If you said yes, then there’s a good chance that you have ankle osteoarthritis

Your ankle joint is made up of two synovial joints called the talocrural joint and the subtalar joint. Each of these joints contains cartilage that can wear out over time; consequently, your ankles may develop osteoarthritis. Physical therapists can help you find effective treatment for the sharp pain in the ankle that osteoarthritis can cause. One treatment technique physical therapists can use to help you is therapeutic exercises, and some exercises that your specialist may recommend include the: 

1.  Ankle stretch

Purpose: This exercise is intended to increase flexibility in your ankle, which can help decrease the sharp pain in your ankle. 

How to do the ankle stretch:

  • Sit on your bed with your legs straight out in front of you. Make sure your ankles are hanging over the edge of the bed. 
  • Position your ankle so that your toes are pointing straight up at the ceiling. 
  • From this starting position, slowly bend your ankle forward until you feel a stretch. 
  • Hold the stretch for two or three seconds. 
  • Return your ankle to the starting position. 
  • Slowly bend your ankle back toward your shin until you feel a stretch. 
  • Hold this position for two or three seconds. 
  • Continue to stretch your ankle until you’ve done 10 to 15 repetitions in each direction.

2.  Calf stretch

Purpose: The goal of this exercise is to improve calf muscle flexibility and decrease the sharp pain in your ankle. 

How to do the calf stretch:

  • Stand with the balls of your feet on a thick book, a stable stool or the edge of a step.
  • Make sure your feet are about hip width apart. You can also place your hand on a wall or a stable piece of furniture if you need help keeping your balance.
  • Slowly lower your heels downward until you feel a moderate stretch in your calf.
  • Hold this stretch for five to 10 seconds.
  • Raise yourself back up to the starting position and rest for a few seconds. 
  • Repeat the stretch until you’ve done three to five repetitions. 

3.  ABC exercise

Purpose: This exercise is intended to improve ankle mobility and can help address sharp pain in your ankle. 

How to do the ABC exercise:

  • Sit in a stable chair with good posture and your feet flat on the floor. 
  • Raise your affected leg so that your foot is a few inches off the ground. 
  • Act like your big toe is a pen and trace the letters of the alphabet in the air by moving your ankle. 
  • Take a brief break. 
  • Repeat the exercise until you have completed three to five repetitions. 

Discover effective treatment for sharp pain in your ankle at Peak Performance

Is ankle osteoarthritis causing you to have sharp pain in your ankle? Our physical therapy team at Peak Performance is committed to helping you find top-notch treatment for your pain. We can do a free screening of your ankle to confirm your pain is osteoarthritis related. Then, our specialists can construct a customized therapy plan for you that’s designed to reduce your pain. You can even sign up for a virtual therapy session with us that allows you to address your pain without leaving home. 

Contact us today for more information about how we can help with your ankle pain or to schedule your initial appointment.