Why Do I Keep Rolling My Ankle?

30 Mar, 2024

Why Do I Keep Rolling My Ankle?

Do you find that your ankle is prone to rolling or twisting outwards, whether during sports activities or even simple tasks like walking? If so, you may be dealing with chronic ankle instability, a common issue that can significantly impact your mobility and overall well-being.


In this brief article brought to you by Mid Penn Foot & Ankle Specialists, we explore why your ankles keep rolling and what you can do to address this issue. If you’d rather see a licensed foot doctor, then call Mid Penn Foot & Ankle Specialists to schedule an appointment.

What is Chronic Ankle Instability?

Chronic ankle instability refers to a condition where the ankle joint feels consistently unstable or prone to giving way, particularly during weight-bearing activities. It often develops following an initial ankle sprain or injury, where the ligaments supporting the ankle are stretched or torn. Despite the ligaments healing, some individuals continue to experience instability, leading to recurrent ankle rolling or twisting episodes.

Why Do Ankles Keep Rolling?

There are a few possible reasons why your ankles keep rolling:


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  • Muscle Weakness: Weakness in the muscles surrounding the ankle, particularly the peroneal muscles responsible for stabilizing the ankle during lateral movements, can contribute to chronic ankle instability. Insufficient muscle strength and coordination make it challenging to maintain proper ankle alignment and stability.
  • Biomechanical Factors: Individual biomechanics, such as foot arch height, ankle joint alignment, and gait patterns, can influence ankle stability. Certain foot types, such as high arches or pronated (flat) feet, may predispose individuals to ankle instability by altering the distribution of forces on the ankle joint.
  • Previous Injuries: Individuals who have experienced multiple ankle sprains or injuries in the past are more likely to develop chronic ankle instability. Each subsequent injury weakens the ligaments and diminishes ankle stability, increasing the risk of future rolling or twisting episodes.
  • Incomplete Healing: Following an ankle sprain, the ligaments may not heal completely, leading to residual laxity or looseness in the ankle joint. This laxity makes the ankle more susceptible to rolling or twisting, especially during activities that require sudden changes in direction or uneven surfaces.
  • Repetitive Strain: Engaging in activities that involve repetitive strain on the ankle joint, such as running, jumping, or sports with frequent direction changes, can contribute to wear and tear of the ligaments and surrounding structures. Over time, this repetitive stress can lead to chronic instability.

Addressing Chronic Ankle Instability

Chronic ankle instability can be a frustrating and limiting condition, but it's important to address it proactively to prevent ongoing issues and potential complications. Engaging in targeted exercises to strengthen muscles and improve proprioception, utilizing supportive measures like ankle braces or proper footwear, and avoiding high-risk activities are essential.

If you’d like to have a foot specialist address your foot and ankles, then consider Mid Penn Foot & Ankle Specialists. We are happy to schedule an appointment with a licensed podiatrist today. A little bit of foot care can go a long way in improving your quality of life!

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