Ankle instability: how to prevent against repeated ankle injuries as you get older
Ankle instability can be very off-putting when it comes time to exercise. When we don’t trust our ankles, we can worry about balance, falls and sprains. If you work to strengthen and protect your ankles over time you should be less likely to experience repeated ankle injuries as you get older.
The ankle is the connecting place between the lower leg bones (tibia and fibula) and the talus, the bone at the top of the foot. There is no ankle bone, rather, there are ligaments that connect the bones together. When you experience ankle instability it is likely due to strain or weakness in these ligaments.
The most common ankle injury
The most common ankle injury is the ankle sprain or strain. Typically, if a person missteps so that the sole of the foot in facing inwards as it hits the ground, the ligaments on the outside of the ankle are over-stretched quickly and painfully. The ligaments may suffer small tears, become inflamed, swell and be sore to the touch. You may not be able to bear weight on the ankle for some time. When strains are suffered repeatedly the ligament struggles to repair adequately and there may be some nerve damage incurred over time.
Prevention of ankle instability
There are a few ways you can help to strengthen and protect the ankle joints. Avoid repeated injury by doing strengthening exercises for your ankles regularly. Walking is often an excellent exercise to maintain mobility and strength in the ankles. You may need to consult a physiotherapist if you feel you already have ankle instability – they will be able to advise on the exercises best suited to you. The most severe cases may require surgery but it’s reasonably uncommon. Prevention is a far better option.
Wearing supportive shoes with performance insoles may also help to provide a steady and more confident gait while walking and exercising. Insoles can help correct gait problems that could contribute to ankle weakness. They will also provide cushioning and stability so there is less energy being moved through the ankles during exercise.
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Whilst Enertor has over 18 years Orthotics experience, our blog content is provided for informational purposes only and it is not a substitute for your own doctor’s medical advice. Enertor advises anyone with an injury to seek their own medical advice – and do not make any health or medical related decisions based solely on information found on this site.