Ankle instability sounds like a rather vague term to describe an ankle that is unstable or fragile.
But in actuality, it is a serious, chronic condition that involves both pain and imbalance.
Ankle instability occurs when the outer or lateral side of the ankle often gives way and fails to stabilize the foot.
When this happens, you could suffer from one ankle sprain after the next from everyday activities such as walking and standing up.
While many people assume that people only suffer from ankle instability as they get older.
athletes and people who often exercise can also suffer from this and may require ankle surgery in Houston.
How to Tell If You Have Ankle Instability
There are a few signs that, while all common among ankle injuries and conditions, can all point to you suffering from chronic ankle instability.
One major sign is if your ankle tends to turn when you don’t have any control over it.
This can be common when either playing sports or walking on uneven surfaces.
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Secondly, the ankle, in general, should feel unstable and wobbly as you are walking or standing.
If you have fallen over because of this ankle, or you are afraid that you might do so, it is another sign that you have ankle instability.
Finally, the outer side of your ankle should either hurt or feel tender, and the area itself should appear swollen.
What Causes Ankle Instability?
Chronic ankle instability will most often originate from an ankle sprain; either when it doesn’t completely heal or heals in the wrong way.
When an ankle gets sprained, the ligaments, or connective tissue, gets pulled.
As a result, one’s ability to balance themselves with their feet is affected.
Rehabilitation is necessary to allow the muscles to regain their strength as well as the ligaments to regain their function.
Without proper rehabilitation, the ankle could be sprained again, which can negatively affect the ankle’s ability to heal.
Repeated ankle sprains are what causes ankle instability, as each sprain causes more damage to the ligaments inside.
Ankle instability may be long-lasting or even permanent and can lead to further foot problems in the future.
What Treatment Options Are There for Ankle Instability?
If you feel that your ankle or foot is becoming unstable, see a foot specialist in Houston.
Tell him or her about any current or previous ankle injuries to help your doctor to diagnose your ankle problem.
Before resorting to ankle surgery in Houston, there are three nonsurgical methods of treating ankle instability.
One or a combination of these methods may be recommended or scheduled for you based on the severity of your injury as well as your lifestyle and/or level of activity.
Physical therapy involves physical activity and exercises designed to help heal the ankle and allow it to regain its strength.
With proper exercises, your ankle can improve its balance and range of motion, and the muscles inside of it can also be retrained.
If you play sports or do specific activities, you may have a special training regimen assigned to you to avoid another ankle sprain.
Wearing a brace can also help the ankle regain its balance, in addition, to prevent the ankle from turning and reaggravating the ankle injury.
Ankle braces, however, are not worn during physical activity.
Medications may also be prescribed such as ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory drug that will help reduce the pain and swelling in your ankle.
The right medications can help to allow the muscles to recover and retrain faster as swelling dies down.