Chronic Ankle Instability

Chronic Ankle Instability

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Chronic Ankle Instability

Foot

What is Chronic Ankle Instability?

Chronic ankle instability is a condition that affects the joint in your ankle. It can cause recurrent sprains, pain, and instability around the joint.

The term “chronic” means that the condition has been present for a long time. Chronic ankle instability happens when the ligaments that normally hold your ankle bones together are damaged or weakened. This can lead to frequent sprains and injuries as well as ongoing pain.

If you’re suffering from chronic ankle instability, you may notice that it’s more difficult to walk or run than it used to be. Your ankle may feel weak and unstable when you walk or even just stand on one foot.

What are the types of Chronic Ankle Instability?

Chronic ankle instability is a condition in which the ankle joint experiences frequent dislocations. There are two types of chronic ankle instability:

Functional instability or mechanical instability

Functional instability is when the joint moves around because of an injury to, or weakness in, the ligaments that hold it together. This type of instability is common among athletes who participate in contact sports, such as football and soccer.

Mechanical instability is caused by damage to one or more bones in your ankle. The bones may have been broken and then healed incorrectly; causing them to shift out of place and cause pain with every step you take.

What are the causes of Chronic Ankle Instability?

Chronic ankle instability is a condition that affects the ankle joint. The instability can cause pain and injury, as well as certain problems with balance and gait.

The most common causes of chronic ankle instability include:

  • Anatomical abnormalities in the shape of the bones in the foot, ankle, or leg that can cause poor foot alignment
  • Excessive pronation (foot rolling inward) or supination (foot rolling outward) due to flat feet or high arches
  • Injury to the ligaments around the ankle joint that connect bones together
  • Achilles tendonitis caused by inflammation of this tendon at the back of your heel, which can also affect stability

What are the symptoms of Chronic Ankle Instability?

The symptoms of chronic ankle instability include:

  • Pain or discomfort during activity, especially when running or jumping
  • Pain after activity stops, such as pain that lasts for several hours after you have stopped playing sports or exercising
  • Instability in your ankles when walking, running, turning, or landing from a jump
  • Limping due to an unstable ankle

What are the risk factors for Chronic Ankle Instability?

There are certain risk factors that may increase your chances of developing CAI, including:

  • Participating in sports such as basketball and soccer
  • Having a previous ankle injury
  • Having a history of any other kinds of injuries

Recommended Exercise

Foot

What are the exercises for Chronic Ankle Instability?

Here are four exercises you can do at home to improve your balance, strengthen your ankle muscles and reduce inflammation:

Heel slides

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed forward. Slide your heels back as far as possible without lifting them off the floor, and then return them to their starting position. Repeat this exercise for 2 sets of 20 repetitions each leg.

Side-to-side heel raises

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointed forward. Raise one foot up as high as possible, then lower it back down slowly to its original position while raising the opposite foot up as high as possible (this should make a “V” shape). Repeat this exercise for 2 sets of 20 repetitions each leg.

Wall squats

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart against a wall and keep your knees bent at 90 degrees so that they don’t extend past the toes when you squat down towards the ground (this will help maintain proper form).

What are the treatments for Chronic Ankle Instability?

Treatment for chronic ankle instability depends on the severity of your symptoms and how they affect your life. Many people with chronic ankle instability can be treated with non-surgical treatments, such as:

Physical therapy

Your doctor may recommend physical therapy to strengthen and stabilize muscles around your ankles. Physical therapists also may teach you exercises to help you regain balance and strength in your ankles.

Braces & splints

Your doctor may recommend wearing a brace or splint at night to hold your foot in place while you sleep, which can help prevent uncontrolled movements that lead to chronic ankle instability.

Explanation of Recommended Orthotic Device

Back

What brace is used for Chronic Ankle Instability?

Ankle braces are used to treat chronic ankle instability by helping reduce pain and swelling. These braces are typically made of rigid plastic or metal and have Velcro straps to hold them in place.

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