Ankle instability is a condition where the ligaments or either the inside or outside of the ankle are loose or have been stretched. If the ligaments of the ankle have been stretched, the ankle becomes unstable, and the person who has ankle instability can feel unsteady on their feet.
Ankle instability can also be described as ‘ankle weakness’. Multiple intrinsic and extrinsic factors contribute towards an unstable ankle, this may be due to foot and ankle alignment, muscle weakness, poor proprioception (the sense through which we perceive the position and movement in our body) and a history of ligament damage of the ankle, likely due to previous ankle sprains.
Ankle instability occurs when the ligaments that support the ankle are stretched, the ligaments on the inside and outside of the ankle are responsible for stabilising the ankle joint when walking, running and taking part in sporting activities. If a person has suffered an ankle sprain in the past, the ligaments can tear and stretch.
Most ankle injuries are caused by a lateral ankle sprain, when the foot twists so that will encourage the foot to point in towards the body, usually when the foot is pointing downwards, rather than flat on the ground. If this happens ligaments and surrounding structures might stretch, tearing of some of the fibres or sometimes it may tear completely.
The most common signs and symptoms include the following:
If you have ankle instability in one or both of your ankles then podiatry can help you. There are a number of benefits to podiatric treatment for ankle instability, the first being stabilisation of the foot and ankle, which may be achieved with the use of:
Podiatry for ankle instability would involve the following:
The aim of treatment for ankle instability is to prevent the ankle from going over, to provide support, and to reduce any pain that may be felt as a consequence of the ankle instability.
Many people with ankle instability will also benefit from a structured exercise programme with a physiotherapist.
If you have a problem with your foot or lower limb, and you are unsure whether or not podiatry can help you, then why not contact us. If you have any questions or would like to book an appointment then please email us at email@example.com or call us on 0151 558 0099.
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