Help ---- weak ankle
Hi guys, I have a question in regards to exercises for a weak ankle. About 10 years ago I suffered from a hair line fracture of my right ankle caused by a bad fall whilst hill waling (I jumped a fissure in a rock afce, and landed with my foot between two rocks, and went over, causing a hair line fracture) since then my right ankle has always been weeak, often collapsing on me for no reason whilst hill walking /fell running.
Since going Primal, and taking up CrossFit, it has been flairing up more and more, to such an extent that it is now constantly painful; my question is, are there any exercise I could do to strengthen it, or am I destined to wear a support strap instead?
Let me know if you find anything. I have a similar issue with my ankle. I injured it badly many years ago, and it finally got to the point where it was hurting all the time, and I'd fall down for no reason. I finally went to an orthopedic surgeon after being on vacation in Italy and falling flat on my face on perfectly flat ground. I believe his official diagnosis is "subtalar degenerative joint disease", and I've since had two surgeries (over the course of about 3 years) for him to go in and clean out the joint when it gets too miserable. That always helps a lot right at first, but the pain seems to come back after a while. I've also had a whole ton of cortisone shots, which are amazingly helpful, but now that I've had so many of them, they don't seem to provide the same relief anymore. I'd love to find a non-surgical way to deal with it, so keep me posted if you find out anything helpful!
Also working your way into minimalist shoes well help strengthen your feet and ankle. Running in the sand is good too.
i would suggest working out what your body needs to heal foodwise. so maybe get into the bone broths and vit C and poss some fish oil to help while you do the practical stuff like minimalist shoes etc. i did get a real gnarly ankle injury once way back. all i did then was treadmill run. i have since worked on natural movement patterns a whole lot more. i go across the roughest terrain i can so my ankle gets used to moving in all different directions and all the stabilising muscles are strong. about 6 months ago i fell off a weight bench at the gym with an extra 16kgs of weights. i twisted my ankle when i landed and it hurt so much i nearly cried. it was sore for a couple of days but that was it which i was very happy about.
Chrisay, I have gone over on my ankle many times over the years and I have found that two things have helped my ankle get stronger.
My physiotherapist had me closing my eyes and balancing on one foot - trying to work up to one minute on each foot. It doesn't sound hard, but it is alot harder than you might think. The idea is that as you are balancing your ankle is adjusting itself and this makes it stronger. You will find after a while that it becomes quite easy.
And also just lately I have purchased some five fingers and I am finding that my posture and feet feel alot stronger.
Can I ask...
Do you barefoot?
Or wear a minimal shoe like Vibram Fivefingers?
I had a foot injury in my youth, and reinjured constantly... that became a permanent nerve issue after another more serious reinjury...
I was a person who would fall on my face on flat ground for YEARS.
Transitioning to Vibram Fivefingers/Barefooting healed and re-strengthened my foot so that is supports itself again.
No more falling and so much less pain!
It took time, but it's really in great shape now.
I had no idea that they could "fix" me when I bought them. NONE.
No one had told me anything about them... it was a whim.
I just thought why not... those expensive shoes the other folks sell me with all the cushion hurt like hell... maybe this opposite thing will be better.
As always, different issues so YMMV.
Interesting about the Vibram Five Fingers. I've always been tempted to buy a pair, but I just can't get around the way they look. They just don't align with my personal tastes at all. I know I'd never choose a pair of hiking boots based on the way they look, but I feel like the VFFs are something I'd be wearing all the time, and that I'd feel awkward wherever I go because I just feel like they look dumb. Sigh, vanity vs a potentially strong ankle again. Seems like it should be a no-brainer, but it's not. :)
Best thing to do is work strengthening stabilizing muscles. Start off by balancing on one foot for 30-60sec, longer if you are able. Increase balancing time as you get stronger. Once that gets easy introduce a wobble board
I agree with what others are saying about the physical therapy exercises, although I have to say that I tried that extensively with my PT before trying surgeries, and it was much more effective AFTER having the surgery to clean out the joint. I think it really depends on what the real issue is with your joint. My feeling is that it's better to try anything non-invasive FIRST.
Ugh... I really need to get a pair of VFFs. I also think they look ridiculous, but I don't really care about that. I need to strengthen my ankle badly! I broke it about 13years ago. Smashed it really, it had to be fused back together. Are the VFFs winter-friendly? Like [I]really[/I] winter friendly, lol... I live in Michigan... or should I wait until after winter. I need new workout/tennis shoes, but I can't afford two pairs (especially if one is VFFs). I mean I probably won't be doing a ton of walking outside when there is snow on the ground, but definitely some.