Frequent ankle sprains and injuries can be a debilitating condition for anyone on the move, particularly if you are an athlete or worker who must stay on your feet for hours on end. This frustrating issue is often caused by repeated trauma or stress to the joint in question and can grow worse over time if ignored. It may also be the result of poor muscle tone or ligament strength in your feet and ankles. No matter what the cause of your chronic ankle pain, however, you will still need to find ways to prevent sprains and other injuries in the future.
Choosing Supportive Shoes
If you have a history of weak ankles, don't subject them to the risk and stresses of high-heeled shoes and similarly unsupported footwear. By placing all your weight on your ankles and forcing them to act as balancing pivots, you are inviting slips, falls and sprains that could otherwise be avoided. Low heels on boots or shoes that extend past the ankles may provide enough structure for your joints, but in general you should be wearing boots or tennis shoes that are high enough to take pressure off your ankles and hold them in place.
Strengthening Your Muscles and Ligaments
Before you try any other remedies, talk to your local podiatrist about strengthening exercises that can improve the function of the muscles and ligaments in your feet and legs. Your podiatrist should be able to walk you through a regimen of stretches and exercises that may be all you need to gradually increase the stability of your ankle and possibly improve your coordination and athletic performance in the process. This is also a valuable time to have your ankles examined for any more serious, underlying disorders behind the sprains.
Wearing Orthotic Implants
Sometimes, chronic ankle sprains are the result of gait issues caused by flat feet, which can in turn be worsened by damaged ankles. Because flat feet are often misdiagnosed, this condition may be allowed to progress for some time before an experienced podiatrist identifies the trouble. Thankfully, you will in all likelihood be able to find relief from this disorder through the use of specialized orthotic implants, which should also reduce the pains and sprains in your ankles.
Wrapping or Bracing Your Ankle
When nothing else seems to work, you may be forced to wrap your ankle regularly, either during periods of physical activity or throughout the day. Wraps and braces apply pressure and provide support to your joints, forcing them to remain in a stable position when they might otherwise buckle. More advanced treatments like surgery may also be available to you once simply preventing pain is no longer an adequate response to your joint dysfunction. If you don't enjoy the idea of wearing a brace every day for the rest of your life, schedule an exam with your podiatrist to discuss your options for pain management, physical therapies or ankle operations moving forward. Contact a business, such as the Advanced Foot & Ankle Center of Palatine, for more information.