Are you experiencing recurrent ankle sprains? Chronic ankle instability often develops after repeated ankle sprains. When the ankle feels unstable or wobbly, it can increase the likelihood of the patient spraining their ankle again.
There is a reason specifically you experience recurrent ankle sprains - you have the inability to distribute load evenly throughout your entire foot. Keep reading to learn more about recurrent ankle sprains, and how to address weak ankles to improve stabilization.
Why Do Ankle Sprains Happen?
An ankle sprain ultimately happens because stress at one part of the ankle accumulates too high and the ligaments are the last thing that are the supporting structure. Then the ligaments get damaged.
As mentioned, this may be happening because, instead of using your entire foot, you're using only one aspect of your foot. This can occur in either supination (where the foot is curled up) or pronation (where the foot is a lot flatter). Either way, you're staying toward one side of that spectrum, accumulating stress to those ligaments.
Typically, those that have a movement strategy where they are cutting and edging off the outside edge of your foot are prone to ankle sprains. So therefore, the goal with these cases is to help utilize the inside edge.
How to Solve Recurrent Ankle Sprains (2 Simple Drills)
To address recurrent ankle sprains, you should incorporate drills that focus on using the inside edge of your foot.
Before proceeding with drills and exercises, it’s important to listen to your body. Depending on the severity, take at least a few days before re-evaluating whether to move forward with drills.
Here are two simple exercises we recommend to help stabilize the ankle and avoid repeated sprains.
Drill 1: Ankle rock
The goal of the ankle rock drill is to improve mobility in your foot. With this exercise, you help to get the inside edge of your foot to the ground, then use that inside edge while you’re cutting.
Once you have that mobility using this exercise, we can go to the next drill, the straddle jump.
Drill 2: Straddle Jumps
The goal is to consistently find pressure through the inside edge of your foot, allowing you to practice cutting. This allows you to practice cutting with a different movement strategy.
Physical Therapy for Ankle Sprains
Physical therapy involves both treatments and exercises to help strengthen the ankle, while improving range of motion.
At Move Strong PT, our physical therapy addresses ankle instability by unlocking every aspect of your foot and utilizing your foot through running, jumping, and strength drills to help you return to sports and activities.
When our clients go back to the activities they love, they can distribute the load of running and jumping throughout the whole foot and not just one certain part.
So when we see this injury at Move Strong our goal is to help the athlete unlock every aspect of the foot and incorporate drills that mimic what their foot would see when running or jumping to build the strength back up in all parts of the foot and ankle!
Closing Out: Recurring Ankle Sprains
If you’re experiencing chronic ankle sprains, most cases can be treated through physical therapy. You can try the drills and exercises mentioned to help reduce the likelihood of getting another ankle sprain.
If you have more questions about repeated ankle sprains and physical therapy, the team at Move Strong PT can help you. Our Massachusetts physical therapists can help create a plan to address ankle instability and help you return to the sports and activities you love.
Ready to get out of pain? Contact us.