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How to strengthen an unstable, repeatedly sprained ankle

21st April 2006

Here’s a question about an unstable ankle: I’ve got an unstable ankle due to repeated sprains, and have been to multiple orthopedics – outside of surgery (which I don’t have the time for right now) I’ve gotten no real answers to strengthen it and/or ways to prevent further injury. I’m a soccer and football player and have to wear an ankle brace 24/7 to be able to walk normally during the season. If anybody out here knows anything that could help I’d appreciate it.

One answer I heard was that surgery is the only option: The problem with the ankle is that the integrity of the joint depends on ligaments, which in your case are too lax from repeated injuries. Strengthening the lower leg muscles will not really help this situation much, if your ankle is really unstable. You can wear an ankle brace when you play sports, or pursue corrective surgery with an orthopedist who treats foot/ankle problems.

Other people say that some exercises help:

  1. theraband exercises (focus on eversion or turning the foot to the outside).
  2. roll a tennis ball under your foot while your sitting watching TV, just 30 mins a day, and it’ll improve the muscular control in the ankle.
  3. try balancing on your bad leg. Just hold the position for about 10 seconds and do 10 reps. Focus on holding yourself as still as possible(stabilize) and increase or decrease reps as tolerated). If this gets real easy try standing on a cushion or ssssomething mildly unstable.
  4. do heel raises (on the tips of your toes) and hold each rep for 3-5 seconds.
  5. toe ups (back on heels) – kind of the opposite of “heel raises” exercises.

Pretty much everyone agrees that you need good footwear for an unstable ankle.

One Response to “How to strengthen an unstable, repeatedly sprained ankle”

  1. mundster Says:

    I suffered from repetitive sprains just like you. I found a rehab protocol that eliminated sprains and strengthened my ankles.

    It was really simple and worked great. I have not had an ankle sprain in more than 15 years.

    If you send me an e-mail I will send you a copy of the program at no charge … just pen a testimonial about how the program worked for you in return.

    You can be back from a grade 1 ankle sprain in as little as 7 days.