Exercise with ankle arthritis


i have arthritis of my ankles and am on the waiting list for a joint replacement. The bones crunch when I walk.

i try to exercise by cycling.

am I going to cause further damage if I keep walking, even if painful? Everyone says I need to keep moving but cautious to do this as am not sure whether it will do more harm than good.

i just seem to get more painkillers from the doctor.



  • Ellen
    Ellen Moderator Posts: 1,486

    Welcome @PJR1601

    A quick welcome to the Versus Arthritis online Community from me.

    I'll leave the helplines to respond, but please do come along over and join in any of the categories on the main forum our members might be able to share their own experience.

    Best wishes


    Need more help? - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • Hi PJR1601,

    Thank you for posting on the helpline forum, I am sorry to hear about the pain that you are experiencing in your ankles. It is important to keep the joints moving as this helps to keep the muscles strong and helps with the movement, this could be with light exercises, such as stretching and strengthening exercises, but equally important to pace yourself and not to over do it. If you are concerned about further damage that could happen if you were to do some exercises, I would suggest you contact your health care team just to be sure.

    Self-care treatments can also help with the pain: Ice, place an ice pack or frozen vegetables wrapped in a damp towel on the painful area for 20 minutes every 2-3 hours, heat can also help with the pain such as hot baths or showers to relieve stiffness and pain, or placing your foot in a warm bowl of water, elevating your foot can also help to reduce the swelling.  

    I have attached a link below from our website of exercises for the foot and ankle which will hopefully help you in the future.

    Best wishes


    Helpline Advisor

  • PJR1601
    PJR1601 Member Posts: 3

    Thank you!

    will try some of those exercises.