Do you feel more wobbly or unstable on your feet?
- Unsteady walking over uneven ground
- Weakness in your ankles
- Like you roll your ankles more often than others
- Like your feet ankles get a lot more tired and achy when you’re not wearing supportive shoes
But, how could you have developed this instability and not even noticed?
Chronic ankle instability is caused by the weakening of your supporting ankle ligaments over time. Usually, these ligaments are located around both sides of your ankle and help keep the ankle joint stable, steady and limit the amount of rolling and movement your ankle does.
But then, life happens.
You roll and sprain your ankle, you have a fall, you sustain a tackle that twists your foot out.. the list goes on. Your ankle ligaments need to repair, heal and regain their full strength and function. Unfortunately, because ankle sprains are relatively common, a lot of people won’t seek treatment for ankle sprains and injuries, opting instead for ice, rest, and avoiding activities that bring on the pain.
While this can help reduce the swelling and painful symptoms if present, what this doesn’t do is facilitate the ideal conditions for the ligaments to fully rehabilitate and get back to their full strength and functional capacity. This means they stay weaker, and allow more motion at the ankle. The more motion, the more likely you are to sprain or twist or injure your ankle again. And so the vicious cycle continues. Because this can occur gradually over time, your ankle can end up considerably weaker and you won’t have even noticed or suspected it happening.
So I think I could have some ankle instability. Now what?
If you think this might be you, don’t worry. Getting people feeling great, stable on their feet and out of pain is what we do all day, every day. We’re the foot care experts here in Toowoomba & Warwick and we’re here to help!
1. Get your feet checked and diagnosed
The first step is getting an assessment and diagnosis to confirm that you do have ankle instability and the instability isn’t a consequence of a different condition or injury. Our podiatrists conduct a thorough biomechanical assessment that includes checking your:
- Muscle strength
- Range of motion and flexibility at the joints
- Going through your history of injuries
- Assessing your foot posture
- Examining your gait (the way you walk)
- Assessing your footwear
2. Getting your treatment plan
This is the exciting part because here we’ll explain to you exactly how we’re going to help you regain as much strength and stability in your ankles as possible. Each treatment plan is carefully tailored to you, your daily activities, occupation, your goals and the regular activities you enjoy. We always strive to make the recovery process as simple as possible for you while getting the best results both now and in the long run. Your treatment plan could include:
- Physical therapy & strengthening
- Custom-designed orthotic insoles
- New footwear recommendations
- Gait retraining
3. We teach you to know what to look out for and how to manage any ankle injuries
If you teach a man to fish then he’ll be sorted for life, right? We apply the same education principles here. We teach you what to look out for, what to do if you sprain and injure your ankle or feel it getting weaker so that ankle instability won’t be an ongoing painful problem for you decades into the future. If orthotics are part of your treatment plan, then you’ll also have them to give you additional support in the future to reduce the risk of injury.
So, it’s all going to be A-Okay?
You can be assured that we’ll do everything in our power and with the full extent of our comprehensive clinical knowledge of the foot and ankle to deliver you the best results possible for your feet. If we encounter anything unusual or unexpected during your exam, we’ll discuss this with you and the best way forward to get the best outcome for you. While chronic ankle instability can lead to long-term complications for those affected, there’s plenty we can do to combat this and have you feeling great again.
Stay safe going for those walks and we’ll see you soon!