If you have ever had a doctor or podiatrist tell you that you have weak ankles, you may be wondering what that actually means. You might also be surprised to learn that weak ankles contribute to other disorders of the feet, including plantar fasciitis. If you are constantly experiencing pain in the bottoms of your feet, you probably have plantar fasciitis, but your weakened ankles may be making it much worse. Here is how weak ankles contribute to fasciitis and how you and your podiatrist can fix this problem.
Supination and Pronation of the Ankles
Supination of the ankles means that your ankles roll your feet outwards. This generally does not affect the plantar fascia on the bottoms of your feet (the bands of muscle and tendons that run the length of the undersides of your feet are the fascia). However, pronation of the ankles does affect the fascia because your ankles and feet are constantly rotating in and down, which pushes the bottoms of your feet flat against the ground. Pronation pulls the fascia tendons taught every time your feet hit the ground or you are standing for a long time. That, in turn, increases the tension, which increases the pain you feel in the bottoms of your feet and the sides of your ankles.
How to Fix Weak Ankles, Which Will Help Your Fasciitis
There are actually several different things you can do to help fix weak ankles. Some of them are very common-sense approaches, while others will require your podiatrist's help and medical skills.
Common Sense Approaches
Some common sense approaches to weakened ankles and the subsequent treatment of plantar fasciitis include:
- Weight loss, which reduces any excess weight that applies additional pressure on the ankles and feet
- Exercises designed to strengthen the ankles and calf muscles
- High-quality, well-made shoes with good support structure (e.g., shoes not designed with high heels or widths too narrow for your feet)
Your podiatrist can help you with medical treatments and approaches too. The following are some of the usual treatments for weak, pronating ankles:
- Custom plastic leg braces to support your weak ankles
- Custom arch supports to lift your arches and reduce the pain you feel from the fasciitis
- Physical therapy to reduce pain and increase strength in your ankles and feet
- Orthopedic shoes designed to fit your feet and treat all of your foot and ankle problems all at once
There are some surgical treatments as well, but typically a podiatrist will reserve these treatments for the most extreme cases of pronating and supinating ankles and plantar fasciitis. If you have tried everything else listed above and have not found much relief, you can talk to your podiatrist about surgical treatments.
For plantar fasciitis problems, click this link http://www.advancedfootclinic.org or do an online search.