Contributing Factors to Chronic Ankle Instability

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Do you walk around feeling like your ankles are wobbly and about to give way when you walk or run? Do you feel pain, soreness and tenderness in your ankles on a daily or regular basis? Have you noticed swelling in your ankles? These are the signs of chronic ankle instability. At NY Foot Health, we want patients not to suffer needlessly. Many people think weak ankles are just something they have to live with, but there are ways to help with this podiatric problem.

Exercise and Physical Therapy—for the majority of people, the cause of chronic ankle instability is a previous injury or sprain that was not fully rehabilitated. There are several factors that come into play with ankle dysfunction: overstretched ligaments, weak supporting muscles and balance, for example. Once your podiatrist examines your ankle and does the appropriate diagnostic testing to pinpoint the reason for the chronic instability, proper exercises and therapies can be prescribed. If you play a sport or participate in a fitness activity regularly, physical therapists can give you exercises specifically geared to protecting your ankle during that type of movement.

Shoe Choice—obviously, if you have a tendency to turn your ankle, high, spiky heels are a bad choice (they are actually not a good choice for anyone’s feet!). Choose boots and shoes with low, wide heels for greater stability. Get sports shoes at a professional fitness shoe store and tell the salesperson you have weak ankles. Your podiatrist can also make shoe recommendations. (Don’t have a podiatrist? Use our online directory to find a foot doctor in your area.)

Extra Help—bracing may be recommended to help stabilize your ankle and reduce the likelihood of an ankle-twisting injury. Listen to your body—if you are doing something that hurts your ankle, rest it. Use the RICE regimen—Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation—until you can get an appointment with the podiatrist.

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