Ankles – Myth Buster

23rd August 2018
Active Step

In this blog, we are going to explore myths and misconceptions that we come across in the clinic on a regular basis in regards to ankles. So let’s bust some myths!

‘I have weak ankles!’

This is one of the most common statements we hear during clinical practice. Generally, this statement coincides with something along the lines of;  ‘I have weak ankles because I play a lot of netball’.

Myth Busting Time; Sport alone doesn’t cause weak ankles. Poor foot function, posture and biomechanics are linked with ankle related pathologies and injuries. These factors combined with dynamic movements of netball and football often lead to acute or chronic overuse injuries.

Essentially what this means is that activity avoidance shouldn’t be implemented to avoid a potential injury. The underlying cause needs to be identified and addressed through a comprehensive assessment.

‘I don’t want to strap my ankles because it will make them weaker over time’

This is a massive misconception, ankles are strapped generally to limit excessive ranges of motion and the movement joints directly affected by the ankle. Studies have shown;

  1. Tape can improve proprioceptive feedback in regards to ankle stability
  2. Ridged tape is effective restricting excessive ranges of motion within the joint.

The tape itself won’t weaken your ankles over time but it is important to combine taping with a tailored exercise program.

‘Orthotics don’t work – I don’t want them and I heard they will make my foot weaker’

This I can safely say is the biggest myth of all time, and by no means at all am I saying orthotics alone will fix your ankle problems. Orthotics aim to improve foot posture, redistribute load and make your feet work in a more functional propulsive manner. There is no clinical evidence to say orthotics will make your foot weaker over time. Conversely, I would argue if the device is making you move in a more functional manner you would be utilising the musculature in your foot in a more effective and efficient manner.  However, to gain maximum from your devices a multi-modal approach needs to be implemented into your treatment plan which may involve exercises and soft tissue work.

At Active Step we treat a wide range of foot and lower limb conditions.  If you have any further questions or myths you would like us to bust about your ankles or to book an appointment click here. Alternatively, give us a call on 01489 881 204 or send us an email on info@activestep.co.uk, and we’ll be happy to help.

Written by Astrid Codemo, HCPC Registered Podiatrist, Active Step Health