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Weak Ankles, Instability, Frequent Ankle Sprains and Acupuncture

Chronic Ankle Instability and When It Should Be Checked

What is Chronic Ankle Instability? Sometimes when we’re walking or doing other activities, our ankle can give way or feel as if the tendon is stretching sporadically. This condition usually happens after repeated ankle sprains or if you’re an athlete who runs or jumps quite a bit. However, ankle instability can even happen when you’re just standing.

 

How do you know you have ankle instability?

 

  • You are experiencing a rotating of the ankle when participating in sports, or when running on angled surfaces.
  • Ankle is constantly swollen or in pain.
  • Ankle feels generally unstable as if it could be easily sprained.
  • Ankle pops after sprain

 

What are some causes of ankle instability?

 

Not healing properly

 

Ligaments that are stretched or torn need adequate time to heal and strengthen around the ankle joint. If the connective tissue isn’t healed properly, the ability to balance is often affected. Not allowing your ankle to properly heal from a sprain or injury will cause the ankle to be more susceptible to ankle instability and more ankle sprains.

 

Repeated Ankle Sprains

Repeated ankle sprains cause further weakening or stretching of the ligaments. This results in instability and will most likely cause future problems for the ankle.

 

Getting your ankle instability checked

Once you know you have ankle instability, getting it checked is an important next step. The ankle and foot surgeon will ask you about any previous injuries or sprains and will examine your ankle for inflamed areas and signs of swelling. X-rays may be taken and the condition of your ankle will be thoroughly evaluated for further treatment.

 

What kind of treatments are available to me?

Based on the evaluation and tests, your surgeon should offer you a variety of ankle rehabilitation treatments. Here are some common treatments that can be offered:

Physical Therapy: This kind of therapy will have you moving around with different exercises to help improve the balance and strength of your ankle. Physical therapy retrains your muscles and improves your range of motion. Sometimes you will receive a training program through sport and recreation that will also help rehabilitate.

Bracing: Wearing a brace can help give your leg and ankle proper support. Wearing a brace will also prevent any further injuries from happening so your ankle can heal completely.

Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen are often prescribed to help with pain and inflammation.

Acupuncture: Another treatment method that is growing in popularity is Acupuncture. In fact, many clinics who offer Acupuncture in San Diego recommend Acupuncture to treat chronic ankle instability. There are meridian points located in the front and back of the legs as well as the feet that trigger the foot and leg complex. Acupuncture also helps repair damaged tissue in ligaments and tendons.

 

Do I need surgery?

Depending on how unstable your ankle is, you may need surgery to bring it back to a normal state again. The surgery usually involves repair and reconstruction of damaged ligaments. If non-surgical methods don’t work on your ankle, then surgery is usually considered as a viable option. The surgeries that are available can be surgery for high ankle sprain, surgery for low ankle sprain or surgery for mid ankle sprain.

 

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