Physio For Ankle Instability

Ivanhoe Physio for Ankle Stability | Australian Sports Physiotherapy

Ankle instability can be a frustrating and limiting condition, affecting your ability to move and engage in physical activities. Whether you have experienced multiple ankle sprains or have a genetic predisposition to instability, finding ways to strengthen and stabilise your ankle is crucial. Physiotherapy can be a valuable tool for addressing ankle instability and improving your overall quality of life.

Ankle instability can be caused by various factors, including weak muscles, ligament damage, or improper alignment. Physiotherapy offers a holistic approach to addressing these issues, focusing on strengthening the muscles surrounding the ankle, improving balance and coordination, and reducing pain and inflammation.

If you are dealing with ankle instability, physiotherapy can be a game-changer in your recovery journey. By working with a qualified physiotherapist, you can learn exercises and techniques to improve the strength and stability of your ankle, allowing you to move with confidence and reduce your risk of future injuries. 

 

What is ankle instability?

Ankle instability is characterised by the “giving way” of the outside (lateral) side of the ankle. This syndrome frequently develops after multiple ankle sprains. “Giving way” is most commonly done while walking or doing other tasks, but it can also happen when standing still.

 

Common symptoms of ankle instability

Ankle instability can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Pain or tenderness
    A common symptom, especially after an injury or episode of “giving way.”
  • Swelling
    Chronic swelling and tenderness around the ankle joint are common due to inflammation from repeated injuries.
  • “Giving way”
    The outer side of the ankle may feel like it’s “giving way,” especially when walking, changing direction, or on uneven surfaces.
  • Instability
    The ankle may feel wobbly or unstable, especially when walking, running, or on uneven surfaces.
  • Ankle sprains
    The ankle may twist and sprain easily, especially on uneven ground or when changing direction quickly.
  • Weight bearing
    The ankle may buckle outwards or you may lose balance when trying to bear your weight.

 

Ivanhoe Physio for Ankle Stability | Australian Sports Physiotherapy

Common causes of ankle instability

The most common cause of ankle instability is recurrent ankle sprains. When you sprain your ankle, the ligaments that support the joint are stretched or torn. If these ligaments don’t heal properly, they can become loose and less able to stabilise the joint. This can lead to chronic ankle instability.

Other causes of ankle instability include:

  • Muscle weakness in the muscles around the ankle
  • Ligament laxity (looseness)
  • Nervous system problems that affect balance

Ankle instability can be a very frustrating condition, as it can make it difficult to participate in activities that you enjoy. If you think you may have ankle instability, it’s important to see a physiotherapist to get a diagnosis and discuss treatment options.

 

Physiotherapy treatment for ankle instability

Physiotherapy is a key part of rehabilitating ankle instability and can help improve strength, balance, and control. A physiotherapist will tailor a program to suit a patient’s needs and goals. Treatments may include:

  • Strengthening exercises
  • Balance training
  • Stabilisation exercises
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Proprioception exercises
  • Orthotics
  • Exercises to help return to sports or hobbies

 

Physiotherapy for chronic ankle instability in athletes often includes active rehabilitation, balance training, and strengthening exercises.

  • Active rehabilitation
    Includes soft tissue massage, range of motion exercises, peroneal muscle strengthening, and proprioceptive retraining.
  • Balance training
    Includes single leg standing and standing on an ankle disc or wobble board.
  • Strengthening exercises
    Includes dorsiflexion and plantar flexion strength, weight bearing calf raises, squats, inversion and eversion strengthening, resistance bands, and ankle weights.

 

How long does it take to fix ankle instability?

Ankle instability can take anywhere from 6-12 weeks to heal, depending on the severity of the sprain and whether you undergo physiotherapy. In some cases, surgery may be required. Here’s a breakdown of the recovery timeline:

  • Weeks 1-6: Focus on RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) to reduce inflammation and pain. You may also need to wear a brace or splint to immobilise your ankle.
  • Weeks 6-12: Begin physiotherapy to strengthen the muscles around your ankle and improve your balance.

If your ankle instability persists after conservative treatment, your physiotherapist may recommend surgery to repair or reconstruct the ligaments. Recovery from surgery can take several months.

Ivanhoe Physio for Ankle Stability | Australian Sports Physiotherapy

Final thoughts on physio for ankle instability

Ankle instability can be a challenging condition to deal with, but with the right treatment and care, many people, including athletes, are able to improve their symptoms and get back to their normal activities.

Physiotherapy plays a crucial role in rehabilitating ankle instability by targeting muscle weakness, balance issues, and joint stability.

It is crucial to work closely with a physiotherapist to create a customised treatment plan that meets your individual needs and goals.

 

Book an appointment with one of our experienced physiotherapists today for a comprehensive assessment and customised treatment plan.

Share:

About the Author

Picture of Michael Rafla

Michael Rafla

Michael Rafla is a Senior Physiotherapist with greater than 12 years of clinical experience across both musculoskeletal conditions and orthopaedic rehabilitation. Recently, he was sought out by Tennis Australia to provide exclusive Physiotherapy to former World Number 1 and Australian Open winner Viktoria Azarenka during a recent Australian Open campaign. He is renowned for making difficult diagnoses, designing strengthening programs as well as using all tools such as mobilisations, deep tissue massage and Dry Needling to achieve fast results for his clients.
Picture of Michael Rafla

Michael Rafla

Michael Rafla is a Senior Physiotherapist with greater than 12 years of clinical experience across both musculoskeletal conditions and orthopaedic rehabilitation. Recently, he was sought out by Tennis Australia to provide exclusive Physiotherapy to former World Number 1 and Australian Open winner Viktoria Azarenka during a recent Australian Open campaign. He is renowned for making difficult diagnoses, designing strengthening programs as well as using all tools such as mobilisations, deep tissue massage and Dry Needling to achieve fast results for his clients.

Seeking Physio Guidance?
Request a Call Back Today!

Wondering if physiotherapy is right for you? No worries – we’re here to assist. Just leave your Full Name and Contact Number below, and one of our physiotherapists will get in touch to chat about your concerns and offer professional insights to put your mind at ease.

Share:

Physio Mebourne | Flinders Street Station

Servicing Melbourne and the surrounds

When things go wrong, and you are in pain, you want to know that your care and support is in the right hands. Visit us at one of our 6 locations.

Latest Post

Preparing for Knee Surgery: How Prehab Can Help

Facing knee surgery might seem overwhelming, but were you aware that prehabilitation, also known as prehab, can significantly enhance your results? Prehab involves a tailored approach to rehabilitation aimed at priming your body for the upcoming surgery. Exploring the Advantages of Prehab: Prehabilitation presents numerous advantages for individuals anticipating knee surgery. Collaborating with a physiotherapist

Read More »

Seeking Physio Guidance?
Request a Call Back Today!

Wondering if physiotherapy is right for you? No worries – we’re here to assist. Just leave your Full Name and Contact Number below, and one of our physiotherapists will get in touch to chat about your concerns and offer professional insights to put your mind at ease.

Other Topics

Related Posts

Physio For Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI) Syndrome | Australian Sports Physio Ivanhoe
Hip and Groin Physio
David Georgy

Physio For Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI) Syndrome

Are you experiencing hip pain with particular movements that is impacting your daily activities? You may have femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) syndrome. This condition occurs when there is abnormal contact between the ball and socket of the hip joint, leading to pain and limited range of motion. FAI syndrome is a common hip problem that can

Read More »
Physiotherapy for Rotator Cuff Injuries
Shoulder Physiotherapy
Youliana Morcos

Physiotherapy for Rotator Cuff Injuries

A rotator cuff tear can be a debilitating injury that causes significant shoulder pain. Rotator cuff tears are a common cause of shoulder pain, and they can be challenging to treat.  Physiotherapy works well for partial tears of a single tendon, but when multiple tendons have torn, the effect on shoulder dynamics, pain, and recovery

Read More »
Physio for Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Hip Joints | Australian Sports Physiotherapy
Hip and Groin Physio
Youliana Morcos

Difference Between Osteoarthritis And Rheumatoid Arthritis Of The Hip Joints

Have you been experiencing hip pain and stiffness, but aren’t sure if it’s due to osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis? Understanding the key differences between these two conditions can help you seek the right treatment and management plan. Hip arthritis is a common condition that affects many individuals, especially as they age. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis

Read More »

Are you ready to go one step further to support your body in healing?

Book your appointment with
Australian Sports Physiotherapy today.