Ankle sprains are a fairly common injury, especially for athletes because of the constant change in motion of sporting games. Although, if you are experiencing repeated ankle sprains there could be a deeper issue. Functional ankle instability is a condition where the ankle feels as if it is unstable even though the joint is actually stable. Functional ankle instability is different from pure ankle instability, which is caused by mechanical forces such as loose ligaments that aren’t holding the joint properly.
Factors that put you at a higher risk for ankle stability are:
- A history of previous significant ankle sprains
- Loosened ligaments in the ankle
- Hindfoot alignment where the heel position slopes inward to the midline
- Participation in high risk sports such as soccer and basketball
If suffering from ankle instability, patients may experience a feeling of looseness when holding their ankles at a certain position or sharp pain when participating in high-risk activities. This can be caused by a problem inside the ankle joint, such as ankle arthritis or nerve damage. There is no one official cause of ankle instability that experts are able to pinpoint. Also, if you have suffered from an ankle sprain there is a chance that you could end up with a distorted perception of your ankles relationship with your body, this can cause you to feel as is your ankles are instable even when they are not. The disorientation can cause you to be off balance and uncoordinated which actually increase the chances of further injuring the ankle.
Our doctors and specialists at Oahu Spine and Rehab can help you plan a treatment that focuses on the stabilization between your ankle and the rest of your body. Another step to the restoring your ankle strength is to improve neuromuscular performance by:
Exercises, such as standing on one foot with the eyes closed, to improve balance, and retrain and enhance coordination, reducing the risk of re-injury to the ankle.
Taping the ankle to provide more support and help keep the foot in a neutral, rather than inverted, position.
Therapy to strengthen the muscles surrounding the ankle joint: These include exercises to strengthen the muscles that evert and invert the ankle
Here at Oahu Spine and Rehab we can create a personalized regimen of exercises to make your ankle to feel more stable. At our Kailua physical therapy location we are here to help relieve pain and tenderness in your ankle as well as improve your ankles overall health. With our assistance you will be back on your feet and hiking up Koko Head in no time!
Contact us with any questions or concerns and we are happy to help!