Sprained ankles and chronic ankle instability

Basketball player spraining his ankle.

Sprained ankles and chronic ankle instability

Chronic Ankle Instability


Rolled ankles are common injuries that are often overlooked and thought to be of minor concern. Besides being an inconvenience, an ankle sprain could quite easily lead to Chronic ankle instability if gone untreated. Firstly, it is important to understand exactly what chronic ankle instability is, what its causes are and how to correct or prevent it. In short, chronic ankle instability is a direct result of repeated Lateral Ankle Sprains. These repeated Lateral Ankle sprains weaken the ligaments surrounding the ankle which in turn, leads to more ankle sprains. These repeated ankle sprains can also lead to frequent episodes such as: 

  • A frequent perception of the ankle giving way  
  • Pain 
  • Swelling 
  • Limited motion 
  • Weakness
  • Diminished self-reported function. 

Don't just walk off an ankle sprain.

With Lateral Ankle Sprains being so common and easily occurring, it is imperative that steps are put in place to act as a preventative measure. In turn, these steps will not only help prevent chronic ankle instability from eventuating, but will also aid in overall injury intervention. Some common preventative measures include:

  • Physiotherapy to strengthen the surrounding ankle muscles
  • Strapping or taping the ankle before any form of physical activity
  • Wearing ankle support such as an ankle brace
  • Making sure you have properly warmed up before physical activity
  • Basic stability and balance training
  • Wearing appropriate footwear
  • Being mindful of terrain

As is the case with many injuries, prevention is better than a cure. Having said this, it is important to remain mindful and to seek professional intervention if symptoms of chronic ankle instability persist.


If you are suffering from a sprained ankle or chronic ankle instability, or would like more information on this topic, don’t hesitate to book in and speak to a fully qualified Exercise Physiologist or Physiotherapist at Pivotal Motion. Call us on 07 3352 5116 or book online today for your ankle injury rehabilitation appointment!!



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