How to Keep a Sprained Ankle From Becoming Chronic Instability

A sprained ankle is no big deal, right? Maybe you know to go through the RICE — rest, ice, compression, and elevation — protocol, you take it easy, and you’re back on your feet in a few days. But if you don’t actually take care of your sprained ankle and let it heal fully, it can become a much more serious issue: chronic instability.

Dr. Marshall L. Lukoff and the rest of us at Foot Care Specialists are interested in all things feet, and we also know the possible problems that can arise from not letting a sprained ankle recover the way it’s meant to. Here are our tips for keeping a sprained ankle from becoming a serious, lifelong condition.

What is chronic instability?

Chronic instability is a condition that often occurs after an ankle sprain didn’t go through the full rehabilitation process and completely heal. Some of the symptoms of this condition are pain, tenderness, consistent swelling and discomfort, shaky or unsteady feelings in the ankle, and consistent turning of the ankle when participating in physical activities or walking on an uneven area. 

Repeated sprains are also a sign of chronic instability.  

Protecting a sprained ankle from chronic instability

Knowing you have a sprained ankle is half the battle of avoiding chronic instability and other problems that can develop by continuing to walk, work, and play on a sprained body part. There are three types of ankle sprains, but even the least troublesome, which causes only minimal pain, tenderness, swelling, and no problems bearing weight, can lead to chronic instability if not cared for properly. 

More severe sprains have an even higher chance of causing this problem. So, if you know you have an ankle sprain, what can you do to avoid chronic instability issues?

Avoid chronic instability by caring for your sprained ankle

Not everyone rushes out to see a doctor because of an ankle sprain, so if you decide to care for your sprain at home, we understand. Still, we feel it’s best to find out the severity of the condition and to know exactly what treatment methods and exercises will help you get back to fighting fit. 


Contact us at 617-479-7921 for our Quincy or Dedham offices, or you can book an appointment online to visit Dr. Lukoff and the rest of us at Foot Care Specialists. 

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