What to do if you’re waking up with stiff ankles in the morning

Stiff ankles in the morning can make it difficult to do nearly any everyday task. From walking to the shower, to making breakfast, if you know you’re going to be dealing with ankle stiffness, you may not even want to get out of bed. 

Stiffness in both of your ankles means it’s more likely that the underlying cause is a natural, age-related condition such as arthritis, but it could also be related to a repetitive motion injury or other causes. That’s why the first thing you should do if you’re regularly waking up with stiff ankles in the morning is see a qualified medical professional. Getting the proper treatment for your symptoms means getting an accurate diagnosis. 

In almost any event, physical therapy is a highly effective form of treatment for ankle issues, including aches, pains and stiffness. 

How does physical therapy help with ankle stiffness in the morning?

Whether it’s caused by an injury that can heal or a nonreversible condition like arthritis, physical therapy can help to increase range of motion in the ankles to improve overall functioning. The first step is to typically establish a baseline for symptoms and treatment through an evaluation that includes movement and posture tests as well as a hands-on examination. 

Ankle pain can be addressed through the following primary physical therapy methods: 

  • Therapeutic exercises — When you take steps to strengthen soft tissue around these joints, they can better do their job of supporting the body and enabling movement.
  • Active and passive stretches — Targeted stretches, performed by the patient or on the patient by a therapist, can help improve range of motion and work against stiffness. 
  • Manual therapies — Joint and soft tissue mobilization techniques are a great way to decrease ankle stiffness in the morning. 
  • Education and lifestyle recommendations — By helping you learn about factors like posture, diet, ergonomics and how they can affect your specific condition, you and your therapist can work together to develop an effective plan to address these issues. 

With patience and dedication, many people dealing with stiff ankles in the morning can soon find themselves with greater mobility in the early hours. 

Back in Motion — your ankle pain relief experts

Back in Motion Physical Therapy can help you overcome stiff ankles in the morning with a personalized physical therapy program designed for your needs and lifestyle. Ankle pain shouldn’t just be a fact of life. Contact us today to start your treatment journey and schedule your initial appointment. 

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