If you suffer from chronic ankle instability, you may walk in fear of your ankle giving way. It can turn when you are walking on an uneven surface or even when you’re just standing still. In addition, you may feel ongoing pain and tenderness in your ankle. It may swell up periodically. At Gentle Professional Foot Care, we want to help our patients deal with this annoying and painful problem. Below are 4 ways to help strengthen your ankles and reduce twisting injuries.
1. Fully rehabilitate ankle injuries—the number one cause of weak ankles is not finishing the full course of physical therapy prescribed for a previous ankle sprain or sprains. You may think that, once the pain is gone, the healing is complete and you can stop therapy. This is untrue! Some of the exercises done during physical therapy are aimed at strengthening the muscles that support the ligaments of your ankle. Your ligaments may be retrained, but if the surrounding muscles are not strengthened, it is easy to twist the ankle again. Repeated sprains make the ankle weaker and weaker.
2. Wear an ankle brace—our podiatrist, Dr. Charles A. Suleskey, may recommend an ankle brace to provide additional support for your ankle. Ankle braces can help prevent your ankle from turning.
3. Choose shoes carefully—if you have had one or more ankle sprains in your past, avoid shoes and boots with high heels. Comfortable styles with wedges or wide heels will increase stability and reduce the risk of twisting your ankle.
4. Surgery—if conservative measures do not improve the stability of your ankle, surgery may be the only solution. Our foot and ankle surgeon can repair or reconstruct the damaged ligaments. In consultation with you, the foot doctor will choose the surgical procedure that will bring the best results for you. The degree of instability and your activity level and lifestyle will all be taken into consideration.