Do You Have Weak Ankles?

Ankle sprains are incredibly under treated. 

"Just walk it off."

"Time will heal it."

"Just ice and rest it."


Over the course of my career, the number of times I've heard "I have weak ankles" is noteworthy. It is typically said with a matter of fact complacent "this is the way it is" tone. 

But it doesn't have to be this way. Ankles can't be weak, but the muscles around them, which are myriad, can be. What do you do with weak muscles? You strengthen them. Muscles don't get stronger just because time goes on. If they naturally got stronger with time, wouldn't our abs all be "beach body"-esque. How are your abs? If they look amazing, Congratulations!, you worked for them.

After ankle sprains people typically end up with poor balance, ankle stiffness into dorsiflexion (think the action your foot does when you do a squat), and weak muscles. Surprisingly, research shoes that after ankle sprains, not only are the ankles chronically weak, but so are the gluteal muscles!

If you have a history of chronic ankle sprains, go see a physical therapist to have an evaluation to determine what impairments might be persisting and consequently leading to foot pain, ankle pain, knee pain, hip pain, and back pain. These impairments can contribute to things down the line like bunions, plantar fasciitis and fasciosis, meniscus tears, arthritis, and ACL tears. If you're an athlete of any sort involving running, squatting, jumping, cutting, these problems will lead to worse performance, not just injury.

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