Why Are My Ankles Often Giving Out?
You can achieve so many benefits from leading an active life. Taking advantage of any of the multitude of outdoor sports and activities—like hiking, biking, and rock climbing—is a great way to improve resting heart rate, manage weight, and tone muscles. That’s barely scratching the surface when it comes to the seemingly endless physical benefits from staying active—and it doesn’t even take into account the mental and emotional benefits! —but it’s important to keep in mind there is always a certain degree of injury risk.
When you are hurt while hiking, skiing, or playing your favorite sport, it’s important to be smart about how you handle the injury. Rushing back into action too soon after sustaining an ankle sprain (one of the most common injuries) can possibly lead to chronic ankle instability.
That can be concerning because symptoms of chronic ankle instability includes pain, tenderness, persistent swelling, and a wobbly, unstable ankle. All of these symptoms stem from the fact a sprain stretches (or even tears!) ligaments and compromises your ability to balance. With subsequent sprains, the connective tissues become weaker and increase the likelihood of additional problems.
Treatment for ankle instability may entail such conservative measures as:
- Physical therapy used to strengthen your ankle, retrain the muscles, and improve range of motion and your balance
- Medication to reduce inflammation and pain
- Ankle braces to provide support, prevent turning, and decrease the risk of additional sprains
Surgery may be recommended based on the level of instability experienced in the joint or lack of effectiveness from nonsurgical methods. Such a procedure typically entails reconstructing or repairing damaged ligaments, but this is certainly something that we will discuss before proceeding with such a treatment plan.
Prevent ankle injuries in the first place by warming up and stretching before your basketball game or exercise routine. If you are not in condition for physical exertion, pass on playing ball for the time being and start a workout program to gradually build up your conditioning. Other preventative measures include wearing shoes that fit properly and are intended for the activity you are going to perform.
If you are experiencing chronic instability in your ankle, then it is time to seek professional help. McVay Foot and Ankle is proud to serve the greater Colorado Springs community with podiatric care for all of your foot and ankle issues and we will help by properly diagnosing the condition, attempting conservative treatment measures, and then evaluating your progress. You can reach our office by calling (719) 266-5000 or using the online form found on our Contact page.