News : Chronic ankle instability | Exercises and treatment tips
Are you having a recurrence in your training sessions? If not, don’t worry, it is often difficult to have a correct sports stability. The same can happen with the ankle, so in this post we will talk about a pathology that many of you have and you have not even noticed. It’s about the chronic ankle instability.
What is chronic ankle instability?
Before explaining what it consists of, I would like you to take a look at the post ankle sprain where we talked about the different degrees of affectation and approximate recovery times, with its different therapies to promote good progress.
Well, as I was telling you, many times after having a sprained ankle (either internal or external) and after the recovery process we can continue to feel that something is not working well and that the ankle is already what it was. Haven’t you heard that about …? THAT’S A BAD HEALED SPRAIN !!! Well that’s where the shots go.
The damage caused by a sprain will be the trigger that our ankle does not respond as it should and will mainly be linked to 2 reasons:
● Mechanical instability: the causes that can lead to this will be:
○ The weakness that arises in the peroneal ligaments in the case of inversion sprain or, on the contrary, of the deltoid ligament in eversion sprain, due to the elongation produced.
○ Problems in the tibio-fibula-talar joint congruence. This is like a puzzle, if each piece is not well placed we will see that something fails. For example, in the case of external sprains (which are more normal to suffer), they will show a varus positioning of the heel.
● Functional instability: This type of instability will not be associated with injury to the structures, but rather with neuromuscular control problems associated with the Central and Peripheral Nervous System. In this case, we can find altered factors such as proprioception, strength, motor control and the ability to react to stimuli.
Look, I sprained myself more than a year ago and the truth is that neither backwards nor forwards with it. Maybe this happens to me !! What should I notice?
Symptoms of Chronic Ankle Instability
Well, first as always, we must have health professionals who can make a good diagnosis, since there may be similarity between the symptoms. You should notice:
1. The main of the symptoms will be the sensation that the ankle does not have enough stability, appreciating some insecurity when walking. It is normal to hear between patients: “my ankle goes away” or “it fails me”.
2. We will observe swelling, pain and even the feeling that something is “mounted” or “jammed”.
3. We will suffer repeat sprains that originate more easily. This can become a desperate spiral, since instability leads us to a new injury and the injury causes us greater instability, repeating itself to functional disability.
4. We will also see our ROM limited or joint mobility ankle.
Exactly, all that happens to me. How can I improve my ankle and not have that dance at the slightest change?
Exercises and Tips for Chronic Ankle Instability.
Once you have been resting and have been treated with a physiotherapist for the pertinent therapies according to the severity of the sprain, the next thing will be to provide these ligaments with enough force to be able to respond actively and correctly to a stimulus that may lead to our foot being injured again, proprioception being an indispensable factor.
1. Beat kinesiophobia: if you lose the fear of moving, you have a lot of cattle. The vast majority of people do not get improvement for this simple reason, weakening both damaged tissues and those that are well, and can cause new injuries.
two. Ankle mobilization: small games like “run I catch you” will be an incentive for this improvement. Cast out and with the help of a compi, you should try to touch us with your finger while we try to avoid it at all times. The mobilization and rapid reaction to a change of movement will be beneficial to start and that our foot says: “You don’t catch me, you don’t catch me” 😜. You can also take a look at the ankle dorsiflexion exercises for later.
3. Action-reaction stimuli: lying down, our compi must touch us on one of the sides of the foot and we must take him to the opposite side marking the movement well as quickly as possible. If it is easy, do it with your eyes closed and you will see how things get complicated.
Four. Work the ends: we need to make all the structures aware again and teach the foot and ourselves what it is capable of. Therefore, walking on tiptoe, heel and on the inner and outer edge will be a basic and simple exercise to regain confidence and strengthen the muscles when walking.
5. Lame leg: in static and with something or someone nearby to support us if necessary, we will begin to work in a unipodal way. If you see that you are left over, close your eyes and give more awareness to your ankle. Remember to take a look at the SEBT post to complement it with your exercises.
6. Unstable platforms: When we see that our ankle is responding in a coordinated way to the previous exercises, we can begin to add unstable bases that suppose an extra in our adaptation. We will start with cushions or mats that cut the information that our feet receives from the ground, being able to continue advancing using bosu or instability plates. Once again, when we master it, we can close our eyes for greater difficulty, so here yes or yes we recommend the help of someone so as not to end up on the ground.
7. Incorporation of reinforcement elements: I see it feasible to introduce ankle braces or another type of stabilizer as functional bandages, especially when we do not stop our sporting activity for anything in the world, since a jump, a turn or a simple stumble can make us re-injure ourselves. I also tell you that the intention is that the ankle returns to what it was, so for the rest of daily activities try not to use them. We want a strong ankle, not a lazy ankle !!!
8. Gait analysis: we should evaluate the possibility of carrying out a gait study to assess our footprint and correct biomechanical factors using templates to avoid undesirable movement patterns.
Remember that all exercises should not be incapacitating, so if you put yourself on and the pain does not leave you, do not force yourself. We want to improve, not go backwards.
In the event that after long periods of working all this type of exercise we do not obtain improvement, we should consult with our doctor and he / she assess after different diagnostic tests, a surgical option in the event that the ligaments do not acquire adequate consistency and strength.
Well, fellow runners, I hope that if you have chronic ankle instability, you will overcome this recurrent pathology by putting everything in your hand (and it is your foot) to be able to get a strong, stable and above all functional ankle.
Health and Km!