Youth – Ankle Instability

How do you treat ankle instability?

Physical therapy  involves various treatments and exercises to strengthen the ankle, improve balance and range of motion and retrain your muscles. Some patients wear an ankle brace to gain support for the ankle and keep the ankle from turning. Chronic ankle instability is a condition characterized by a recurring giving way of the outer side of the ankle. This condition often develops after repeated ankle sprains. Usually, the giving way occurs while walking or doing other activities, but it can also happen when you’re just standing. Many athletes, as well as others, suffer from chronic ankle instability.

People with chronic ankle instability often complain of:

¨ A repeated turning of the ankle, especially on uneven surfaces or when participating in sports

¨ Persistent discomfort and swelling

¨ Pain or tenderness

¨ The ankle feeling wobbly or unstable

Chronic ankle instability usually develops following an ankle sprain that has not adequately healed or was not  rehabilitated completely. When you sprain your ankle, the connective tissues are stretched or torn. The ability to balance is often affected. Proper rehab is needed to strengthen the muscles around the ankle and retrain the tissues within the ankle that affect balance. Failure to do so may result in repeated ankle sprains.

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