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Methods to Improve Ankle Stability

For anyone who has sprained an ankle, the necessity for strengthening the joint after healing is important. A weakened ankle joint increases the risk of another sprain, which can evolve into chronic ankle instability. A symptom of an unstable ankle is the feeling that the joint gives way during normal activity, which is often a sign of an overstretched ligament. Treatment options include performing a series of neuromuscular exercises to strengthen the ankle joint, along with wearing a protective brace for stability. If the ligament is still too loose, surgery becomes an option. The ligaments, which hold the joint in place, can be shortened and tightened, or in some cases, replaced. Ankle instability can also cause problems with muscle coordination, and for this reason strengthening exercises may be helpful. If you have experienced a recurring ankle stability problem, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist for a full examination of the joint and the right treatment options for you. 

Although ankle sprains are common, they aren’t always minor injuries. If you need your ankle injury looked at, contact one of our podiatrists from Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains are the result of a tear in the ligaments within the ankle. These injuries may happen when you make a rapid shifting movement while your foot is planted. A less common way to sprain your ankle is when your ankle rolls inward while your foot turns outward.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Pain at the sight of the tear
  • Bruising/Swelling
  • Ankle area is tender to touch
  • In severe cases, may hear/feel something tear
  • Skin discoloration

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

In many cases, the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate) is used to treat ankle sprains. However, you should see a podiatrist to see which treatment option would work best with your injury. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

It is important to ask your doctor about rehab options after you receive treatment for your injury. Stretching, strength training, and balance exercises may help the ankle heal while also preventing further injury.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Princeton and West Windsor, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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