You may have heard people say that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. We seem to remember a mean-looking British woman yelling at people about that on a game show. There is a kernel of truth to that phrase, at least when it comes to weak ankles. Not only can they be a vulnerability in themselves, they can cause other parts of the body to become vulnerable, too.
First, there’s the obvious risk of falling. Ankle instability makes the joint more likely to “give out” when bearing weight or navigating uneven terrain. This increases the likelihood of suffering an ankle sprain as well as any other damage you might face on the trip down to the ground.
The very act of managing to stay upright with weak ankles can cause problems over time, however. As the body moves to compensate for this instability, it might cause the feet to roll inward or outward too far while walking, respectively known as over-pronation and supination.
A change in gait stemming from ankle instability can lead to additional problems such as plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, and even knee or hip problems as the forces of movement are unevenly distributed across your body. It can also negatively impact your posture.
Your ankles play a large part in your foundation, so keeping them up to strength will help your entire body out in the long run. Ankle exercises, maintaining a healthy weight, wearing supportive shoes, and getting the proper treatment for ankle injuries all help. For more information on building strong ankles, or to address any concerns you might have with the way your feet and ankles work, call the doctors at Martin Foot and Ankle. Our offices in Hanover, Lancaster, Lititz, and York can all be phoned at (717) 757-3537.