Chronic ankle instability

Most people at some point in their lives have experienced an ankle sprain. This is an event that can happen during sport, or simply hiking in the hills. The foot suffers a moment where the ankle twists too far, leading to differing degrees of ligament and joint damage.

The approach to healing depends entirely on the level and severity of the initial sprain.

What we often find is that there is little adequate rehabilitation of the ankle, which can lead to a ‘weak ankle’ that tends to re-sprain.

Chronic ankle instability can happen to anyone

Certain foot types are predisposed to ankle sprain. But this can essentially happen to anyone, tripping or falling into a hole, stumbling, or during sports.

The foot that tends to have a tendency to chronic repetitive ankle sprain, often referred to as ‘weak ankles’, may be susceptible because the ligaments have not been adequately rehabilitated after an initial sprain. Alternatively, there may be a biomechanical tendency in the ankle.

The Peroneus Longus muscle may not be firing correctly, leading to slow reaction to the stimulus of going over. This muscle plays a major role along with other Peroneals in preventing ankle instability.

Treatment for weak ankles

  • At Footmech, we assess the structure and function of your foot, to determine alignment issues.
  • Then, with soft tissue work on the calves and mobilisation of the ankle.
  • We carry out NMES (neuro-muscular electrical stimulation) of the peroneal groups.
  • If necessary, we provide orthotics to support the foot, correcting the biomechanics.

The stable platform of the orthotic allows more control of the foot, and re-awakening the Peroneal muscle groups with NMES can make the muscle more receptive to preventing ankle instability.

This allows you to trust the foot on heel strike, as it stabilises the foot on contact with the ground.

Dealing with peroneal reactivation is vital – without good functioning Peroneals, the foot can develop other conditions.