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  • Writer's pictureDrSean

Ankle Fun

Updated: Apr 11, 2019

Just real quick to give you some background. I had cancer in my right ankle diagnosed in my late 20s. Luckily, I caught it fairly early and didn't have to have too much intervention, and it was in the soft tissue between my lateral malleolus (bump on outside of ankle) and skin. The cancer was called a myxofibrosarcoma, and it took three surgeries, the loss of a small muscle called the extensor digitorum brevis and a little over six months, and I was cancer free. Due to the many surgeries, I have developed a lot of scar tissue around the outside of my ankle and top of my foot. I must do the below exercises to maintain the mobility in my ankle and I would like to share them with you.

My cancer battle scars

So, what is a "back" doctor talking about our extremity joints? Just like your back can get restricted motion your extremity joints get locked up too. I can adjust them as well to help re-establish proper motion to benefit your body. Today I will be chatting about the ankle. People often neglect this joint; it is crucial in a lot of movements especially squats. If your ankle is moving better, it can also help to protect the knee! Keeping you in play with your sports, I use it for my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Open Chain Ankle Mobility Drills

Open Chain exercises are usually done with the foot not contacting the ground; these are often done after injury.


Your big toe is a pencil, and you draw out the ABC's really trying to push the limits of your motion to challenge the end range of movement.

Spreading your toes

Open and close your toes, a motion that we don't get very often since we cram our beautiful feet into small shoes.

Massage your feet

Sit down and pull your foot up and rub/touch your toes and feet. It is useful for developing a good connection to your feet.


Close Chain Ankle Mobility Drills

Close Chain exercises are done with the foot contacting the ground.

Ankle Rockers

Place foot firmly on the ground; your position is a kneeling lunge position. You rock forward bringing your knee over your toes without lifting your heel. Then you move your body backward straightening your leg and opening the front of the ankle joint. The foot needs to stay planted on the floor through the whole motion, so don't let that heel come off the ground.

Pull big toe back

Keep your foot planted and pull your big toe back. The big toe motion is super essential for proper ankle motion.


Walk around barefoot as much as possible. Its good to be out of your shoes and it will help with strengthening and improving your balance.

Finishing up

Like all joints, make sure to keep challenging the end range of the motion. Make sure you can do so without pain if you have pain, come see me and I can help fix the problem.

Movement is medicine! Our bodies adapt to stress, what stresses, good or bad are you putting through your body?


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