“My ankles feel really weak and unsupported."
“From a young age I have always had numerous ankle sprains."
Ankle instability is a recognised medical condition where the patient feels an internal weakness within or around their ankles. Patients who have this disorder may also frequently suffer from ankle sprains and find they are unable to walk straight or “properly". They are often classified as being lazy or just clumsy.
As the ankle is a key structure of the foot, many factors can influence its strength and functionality. Bony alignment, muscle strength and tone, and ligament elasticity all have an important role to play in stabilising the ankle. If there is a problem in any of these structures, then ankle function tends to be compromised. Having a Biomechanical Assessment is a great way to start investigating the source of the problem.
A full Biomechanical Assessment allows the Podiatrist to assess the manner, functionality and alignment of the lower limb and foot. It is specifically beneficial to those who have pain which has not been diagnosed or pain which has failed to respond to medication. The examination is done with the patient in a weight bearing (standing) and non-weight bearing (lying) position. The podiatrist will concentrate on examining the range, direction and quality of motion within the hip, knee, lower limb and foot. We ask that when you come for the assessment, if your happy to, that you bring a pair of shorts to change into. This makes it much easier for the Podiatrist to examine your hip and knee joints. It also helps when the Podiatrist watches the way you walk (gait cycle) as it allows us to see how the whole leg is functioning rather than just the foot itself.
This assessment usually identifies the need for correction which is done through the use of orthotics, also known as insoles. The orthotics, which are custom designed to your feet, provide support and work with the lower limb and feet. In order to provide you with the most suitable insole, we ask that on the day of your appointment, you bring your regular shoes with you. This will allow the Podiatrist to gain an insight into what style you prefer and will give us a better understanding of what type of insole we should provide you with.
However, sometimes the problem lies within the actual muscles. If this is the case then the Podiatrist will be happy to prepare a stretching and strengthening exercise program specifically for your problem.
If the Biomechanical Assessement fails to identify any problems then the Podiatrist may still be able to suggest further areas of investigation that can be done in order to reach a diagnosis. We understand that the worst thing about pain is not knowing the source and reason of it, so everything possible will be done to help you.