You can fight through nagging quad aches or shoulder discomfort, but chronic foot and ankle pain can throw a wrench into your whole routine.
Your feet and ankles are your tools to get you from one point to another. You’re constantly on your feet, whether you’re walking around the office or running on a track. Your feet and ankles are the foundation to your daily activities.
Your feet and ankles are tough; they can hold a great deal of weight and handle various movement. But when overworked, over trained or neglected, they’ll begin to hurt. If left ignored, you’ll begin to deal with chronic ankle instabilities.
What Is Chronic Ankle Instability?
Chronic ankle instability is a constant “give way” condition of the outer side of the ankle. This usually comes from multiple ankle sprains or strains.
What Are the Symptoms of Chronic Ankle Instability?
- Pain on the lateral (outer) side of the ankle.
- Constant, dull achiness.
- Difficulty walking
- A give way feeling (instability)
- Repeated ankle sprains
Note: Always speak with your doctor for proper diagnosis if you feel you have chronic ankle instabilities.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Have you injured your ankle before? When?
- What kind of treatment did you do?
- How long have you had the pain?
- Are there times when the pain is worse?
Note these answers down and let your doctor know. Your doctor will examine your ankle for tender areas and swelling. Your range of motion will be assessed as well as your flexibility. You may need to get X-rays of both ankles so your doctor can compare the injured foot versus the non-injured foot.
There are several treatment options for chronic ankle instabilities. Your doctor may recommend anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the swelling as well as ice and heat therapy. Physical therapy will help you strengthen your ankle muscles and ligaments as well as restore range of motion, flexibility and joint position.
An ankle brace will help keep pressure off of the affected ankle and will help prevent further injury. The DonJoy Performance POD Ankle Brace is designed to compress, support and keep the ankle aligned without impacting your foot’s motion. The POD prevents ankle rolls and instabilities while supporting natural range of motion. Whether you play sports or need something for daily wear, this can keep pain to a minimum during recovery and prevent re-injury well after the initial injury.
Surgery is sometimes needed to remove loose fragments or clean up the joint surface. Sometimes surgery will repair the ligaments or transfer the tendons. If surgery is needed, expect a minimum of 6 to 10 weeks of rehab.
If you experience ankle pain, immediately stop and take your weight off of the injured foot.
It’s important to do simple ankle exercises to strengthen ligaments and muscles while working on range of motion and flexibility. Massage will also help ease any overworked tendons of the foot and ankle. Remember, you’re on your feet all day, give them some rest.
Wear proper footwear. If you experience ankle pain, it’s suggested to wear high-top shoes. Make sure to properly lace them.
If returning to activity after an ankle injury, make sure you are cleared by your doctor first and wear an ankle brace for support.