Ankle Instability

and Pain

Inflammation bone ankle of humans with inflammation

Ankle instability or ‘weak ankles’ is very common, especially when there has been a previous injury, such a sprain to the ankle. Weak ankles can affect balance and increase your risk of sprains which can lead to chronic ankle instability. Weak ankles can sometimes be caused by genetics, ligament laxity or even inappropriate footwear.

Chronic ankle instability is a condition characterized by ‘giving way’ of the outer side of the ankle. This condition often develops after repeated ankle sprains. Many athletes, as well as non-athletes, suffer from chronic ankle instability.

40% of people who suffer their FIRST ankle sprain will go on to suffer from chronic ankle instability within the first year since it has occurred. Inappropriate or inadequate ankle rehabilitation following an ankle sprain may result in chronic ankle instability.

There are many reasons why someone may have weak ankles. However, there are many things we can do to fix it!

swollen ankle due to ankle instability and sprained ankle treatment

What are the signs and symptoms of ankle instability?

  • Repeated turning of the ankle, especially on uneven surfaces or when participating in sports
  • Persistent discomfort and swelling
  • Ankle pain or tenderness
  • Ankle feeling wobbly or unstable (poor balance)
Ankle brace to help with ankle instability


  • RICER: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, Referral (to see a Podiatrist)
  • Medications: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication to help alleviate the pain and inflammation (temporarily)
  • Bracing: provide appropriate support to your ankle and prevent your ankle from turning. It also allows the injured area to heal properly while allowing you to remain mobile
  • Ankle rehabilitation: to strengthen the ankle, improve balance and range of motion, and retrain your muscles – See a Podiatrist for efficient rehabilitation
  • Foot mobilisation: to restore normal function of your joints and bones of the foot and ankle – See a Podiatrist for efficient ankle mobilisation treatment
See a Podiatrist for ankle pain and instability

Preventative Measures:

  • Stretching exercises prior to commencing exercises
  • Wear appropriate footwear; avoid high heels
  • Be extra careful when doing exercises on uneven surfaces
  • Do ankle strengthening exercises
  • Seek a Podiatrist for more personalised advice and treatment

Here at the Foot Force Podiatry, we offer a range of treatment options to help with rehabilitation and prevention of ankle instability. Book your initial biomechanical assessment NOW!

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