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weak ankles and how to provide support



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SARAHMO4
SparkPoints: (1,118)
Fitness Minutes: (10)
Posts: 237
2/12/13 9:57 P

Thanks for all the advice!! I am going to my family doctor on Friday to see what she thinks and be referred to a specialist if needed. I am hoping all will go well, I dont mind seeing a specialist if needed. My insurance is so picky though about who I see and the rules they have may cause difficulties. In the meantime I will stick to walking and see how far I can go with that.



MOTIVATED@LAST
Posts: 13,947
2/12/13 6:57 A

I'm a regular hiker and backpacker, and strongly believe in strengthening, rather than 'supporting' the ankle, to avoid rollovers.

Barefoot calf raises are one of the best exercises for the foot, ankle and lower leg.

Both other leg exercises (especially single leg varieties) can help, especially if done barefoot.

M@L



ZORBS13
SparkPoints: (94,387)
Fitness Minutes: (95,822)
Posts: 12,914
2/12/13 5:39 A

+1 to gordo

I had a client with balance/stability problems and she was wearing those easytone things. Pretty much the last thing you need with weak ankles.



CHERIMOOSE
Posts: 383
2/12/13 1:00 A

One thing that wasn't mentioned is to wear shoes with as low a heel as possible, to lower your center of gravity and make you more stable. Most sneakers on the market have an elevated heel, which makes it harder to control your foot's movements. And most shoes have an overly spongy sole, which also makes it harder to control movements, plus it reduces your awareness of your foot's positioning. So walk in thin-soled shoes that have a hard rubber sole, like Keds, Converse, etc. Leather ones provide the best control, but canvas are fine as long as the laces are tied tight.

Not a big fan of braces for the reasons mentioned.





MRSOLIVER455
SparkPoints: (5,083)
Fitness Minutes: (1,369)
Posts: 400
2/11/13 11:21 P

I've been having trouble with my knees so i wrap them and have been slowly trying to build strength in my knees. Don't over do it!



SPARK_COACH_JEN
Posts: 55,181
2/11/13 7:16 P

Hi Sarah

I'd second (or third) the idea to get checked out by an orthopedic surgeon. I'm not a big fan of wearing a brace unless it's prescribed by the doctor, because that's just masking the symptoms of a potential problem. You're better off getting checked out, because you might get exercises to help strengthen your ankles and fix the problem for good.

Coach Jen



EMMAEKAY
SparkPoints: (18,322)
Fitness Minutes: (20,942)
Posts: 305
2/11/13 4:55 P

Brace it up! I have a black stretchy/velco wrappy thing that I use whenever I plan to do anything that will stress my ankles. I twisted one at my first Zumba class, but since using the brace, I've had no problems!

You may also consider doing exercises that don't stress the ankles, like stationary bike riding. Best $150 I ever spent was on a stationary bike for my living room!



ZORBS13
SparkPoints: (94,387)
Fitness Minutes: (95,822)
Posts: 12,914
2/11/13 4:50 P

I have sprained or broken both ankles more times than I can count and was exacerbated by years of step aerobics. I avoid exercises where everting my ankles (fast steps on an unstable surface). Simply standing on 1 foot on a stable surface can help strengthen. Other than the above description, I can't think of any exercise that I would specifically avoid.

Running has actually strengthened my ankles. I did 6 years of step and sprained an ankle at least once a year, in addition to the ankle injuries I sustained from being a klutzy child. In 6 years of running, I have hurt my ankle, exactly once. There is no lateral movement to contend with. :)

Edited by: ZORBS13 at: 2/11/2013 (16:53)


SOFTLYROSE
SparkPoints: (7,469)
Fitness Minutes: (4,971)
Posts: 12
2/11/13 4:43 P

I second the idea of waiting to run. I've had to have reconstructive surgery on both feet, and the lack of activity before and directly after the surgery left me with weak ankles. I would definitely consult a doctor. See if you can get in to see a physical therapist if at all possible. Often there are other small trouble areas you've developed trying to compensate for your problem area. A physical therapist will be able to identify where you need to work and how far you can push it safely. I wouldn't necessarily expect to start running seriously soon. I've been going to physical therapy for about two years and have only worked up to about fifteen to twenty minutes jogging in intervals. My dad injured his ankle last year, and while he is a fast healer, he followed a similar recovery curve. Good luck!

Edit: Oh, and if you need a brace, try to get out of it as soon as possible, even if it means sacrificing a little bit of your activity and workout. I've found that in the long run this really increases strength and allows me to do more. If you keep trying to push it while wearing the brace your body will become dependent on it and you'll never get out of it. Also, you'll want to make sure you have very supportive shoes. The support on my shoes recently gave out and I ended up in a brace for a couple of months before I could get new shoes. With the new shoes and support I don't need the brace.

Edited by: SOFTLYROSE at: 2/11/2013 (16:47)


SERGEANTMAJOR
Posts: 6,398
2/11/13 2:17 P


Have your ankles checked by an orthopedic surgeon to determine if your ankle ligaments are lax or stretched then do exercises to strengthen them. I suggest you not attempt running until you have built up the strength in your ankles by doing exercises such as squats and lunges.Using any form of support will further weaken the muscles and not correct the problem.



NAUSIKAA
Posts: 4,848
2/11/13 2:17 P

You can buy neoprene braces. I would recommend giving those a try. You still need to be able to move your ankles around but a brace will give you some additional support. You may want to visit an orthopedist or physiotherapist to learn special exercises to build strength in the area. My orthopedist showed me special exercises to support my wrist joint/ligaments so that they aren't re-injured. They aren't standard weight-room exercises. Once you get more stable, you can switch to an athletic wrap which is looser. You don't want to rely too much on braces and wraps. The idea is to move away from using them over time and let your muscles take over. That's why it's so important to know which exercises to do to support your joints. Sorry I don't know them, I haven't had injuries there yet!



SARAHMO4
SparkPoints: (1,118)
Fitness Minutes: (10)
Posts: 237
2/11/13 2:01 P

I am trying to be more active and thinking about starting running along with other exercise. My concern is my ankles. I have sprained both 1 or 2 times a long time ago. Since then they seem weaker and sort of give out or I trip and sometimes fall when moving too fast. Whats a good way to support my ankles and my feet? Wraps, braces, certain exercises? Any advice would be helpful.



 
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