Ever feel like your ankles are constantly aching? While you may just shrug it off as a common nuisance, there may be a deeper problem. Your ankles are the foundation for any physical activity because they support your weight, provide balance and help you walk. Day in and day out, your ankles take a beating. From walking and standing to running and jumping, your ankles are under a tremendous amount of pressure each day.
If you are prone to regular ankle pain, it may be a sign of chronic ankle instability.
Ankle instability arises from the weakening and recurring unsteadiness of the lateral or outer side of the ankle. If you’ve suffered from multiple strains or sprains and experience the recurring “giving way” of your ankle, you may have chronic ankle instability. However, this condition can be treated. Before we dive into the treatment options, let’s take a look at some of the most common symptoms:
- Lateral (outer) ankle pain
- Trouble walking
- Instability or wobbliness
- Consistent dull aches
- Frequent ankle sprains and strains
If you experience these symptoms, it’s recommended to consult your physician or health professional for a proper diagnosis.
Treatment for Chronic Ankle Instability
Treating chronic ankle instability begins with a few different nonsurgical remedies. First things first, stay off your feet for a while! Your ankles need rest just as much as the rest of your body. After that, a combination of physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications or bracing can assist in ankle pain relief.
The most popular treatment option is using a corrective brace like the Thermoskin AFG Stabiliser. A high-quality brace will help keep your ankle from rolling and giving way. Wearing a brace can also work as a preventative measure as it will help provide support and prevent sprains. Whether you’re an athlete or just need something to wear around the house daily, this will grant much-needed support while maintaining your range of motion.
However, some patients with extreme ankle pain or a high level of instability may require surgery. This means a surgeon will have to repair or partially reconstruct weakened ligaments inside the ankle. Most of the time, chronic ankle instability may be alleviated with the above nonsurgical solutions.
Is it preventable?
As always, most injuries are easily preventable and chronic ankle pain is no exception. Strengthening your ankle and foot muscles is imperative to avoid injury and developing this condition. You may also try using resistance training bands to increase your ankle flexibility, improve muscle strength and restore joint position. Remember to always wear appropriate footwear when participating in any physical activity and know when to put your feet up and rest!
How do you manage your chronic ankle instability? Tell us in the comments or search all of our foot and ankle supports.