5 Effective Physiotherapy Exercises To Relieve Ankle Pain

5 Effective Physiotherapy Exercises To Relieve Ankle Pain

Aching ankles, often accompanied by sore feet, is a common complaint among many people that can stem from various causes, from long-distance walking, improper exercise or injuries, health conditions such as arthritis, and many more. There are many common causes of ankle pain or sprains. Regardless of the reason, dealing with chronic pain in the ankles or heel is never a pleasant experience.

To relieve this discomfort, pain management specialists recommend including mobility stretches in your daily routine, which mainly focuses on the calves and hamstrings. This is because impaired ankle joint dorsiflexion (the motion of drawing your toes toward you) and calf muscle tightness are associated with many lower limb disorders, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, or sole tissue inflammation, as per research findings.

Therefore, regularly engaging your calves is a critical step towards pain relief. These mobility exercises involve the ankles and soles of the feet that also engage the calf muscles and can be done while seated or in a lying position.

The routine below, which incorporates static and dynamic stretching, targets the lower legs’ muscles to increase their flexibility, improve their range of motion, and relieve pain. Practice these exercises daily and go through each with slow and careful movement, taking your time to flex and extend through the full range of motion.

1. Ankle stretches

Straighten one of your legs and flex your foot to bring it close to your shin. Hold this position for five seconds. Next, extend the foot downward and point your toes away from you as if you were pressing on a car’s gas pedal. Hold for another five seconds before repeating the routine five more times. You can also use a resistance band during this exercise should you desire increased resistance.

2. Stretching with the balls of the feet

This stretching exercise exaggerates the movements of the previous one. First, flex your feet upward for five seconds. However, instead of immediately transitioning from extending the foot downward, continue flexing and lead with the ball of the foot to reach forward. Next, point your foot and hold for another five seconds. Release the toes first when returning to the flexed position and flexing at the ankle. Do this routine five times as well before switching to the other foot.

3. Ankle rotations

Extend one foot forward and externally rotate it to the side, holding for five seconds. Rotate it internally in the opposite direction and hold for another five seconds. Repeat five times and then switch to the other foot.

4. Ankle circles

While standing upright and feet hip-width apart, point one foot down to the ground and start rotating it, making small circles with your ankles. Start with small circles first before increasing in diameter to open up the ankle joints as much as possible and release stress and tension. Repeat the exercise with the other foot.

5. Toe curls

Relax both feet first and imagine picking up something using your toes. Tightly curl all your toes and hold this position for five seconds before releasing and relaxing your feet. Repeat this step ten times.


Chronic ankle pain can be frustrating and often gets in the way of our daily life, making simple activities like walking more strenuous than they should be. However, by consistently doing mobility stretches like those outlined above, you should be able to loosen up your feet and strengthen them to relieve the pain. As a reminder, never do exercises that cause more pain and seek pain management in Singapore if the pain persists despite routine stretching.

At Pain SG, our multidisciplinary team of pain specialists can help treat and manage your ankle pain to get you back on track with your daily life. Apart from solutions for ankle pain, we also provide other services such as treatments for pain conditions like neck, shoulder, foot and heel pain, and back pain, as well as post-operative physiotherapy for quicker recoveries.

To learn more about our services, send your queries to info@physioasia.com or call us for an appointment today.