Are you having recurrent ankle sprains?
Chronic ankle instability is a common condition in people who had an ankle sprain previously. When a lateral ankle sprain (rolled ankle) occurs, the ligamentous structures can get overstretched, torn, or completely ruptured. It typically involves the anterior talofibular ligament which has a passive function to prevent the ankle from rolling inwards especially during walking, running and sports. As a result, the ankle loses one of its passive stability structures and becomes more unstable. Failure to do appropriate functional rehabilitation after experiencing an acute ankle sprain can develop into chronic ankle instability!
Signs and symptoms of Chronic ankle instability
- Previous history of ankle injury/sprain
- Recurrent episodes of “giving way” or ankle sprains
- Feeling of instability especially during sports/running or repeated need for ankle taping
The good news is that chronic ankle instability can be well managed with physiotherapy. With the right exercises, you can strengthen and retrain the ankle’s proprioception (position awareness)!
Here are a few exercises to build ankle stability:
1. Single leg balance
Balance on 1 foot for up to 60 secs. You can further challenge the ankle by closing your eyes or balancing on a softer surface.
2. Fibularis strengthening with resistance bands
The fibularis muscles are important in controlling the ankle from rolling during movement. Tie a resistance band around your foot, and attach the end to something sturdy, like a table leg. Pull on the band to turn your foot outwards, and control it slowly back to the starting position.
3. Calf raises
Your calf muscles are equally important in actively stabilising the ankle! Start by standing on a step/ground. Push up to go onto the ball of your feet and slowly control the descent back down. Gradually progress to be able to do 25 single leg calf raises on both sides.
If you have recently injured your ankle, or had an unstable ankle for a long time, contact Perth Physiotherapy and Pilates for more specific advice and treatment as we are always here to help you! Click here to see our availability!