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Injury: Chronic Ankle Instability

by Josie Harding ATC LAT

Chronic Ankle Instability and its effect on Soccer Players

Soccer is among one of the most popular sports in the world, offering leagues and options for all ages and genders. With more participation, it is not surprising that the number of injuries is also increasing, especially as athletes become older and the level of play intensifies. Many studies and research has been done to look at what type of injuries are prevalent and one of the most commonly injured joints within soccer is the ankle. Although acute ankle sprains are reported more commonly, we are often concerned with repetitive injuries to the ankle joint due to the lack of proper management and prevention strategies in place.

Many studies have reported that nearly 73% of athletes who have suffered an ankle sprain sustain recurrent sprains and 59% of the 73% usually end up having chronic ankle instability that impairs or alters their athletic performance. Other studies have also shown an annual aggregate health-care cost of up to $2 billion.


Studies have identified risk factors that play a direct role in chronic instability. Some of the main risk factors are:

  • History of a previous injury. Those who have a history are 3.5 times at greater risk of sustaining recurrent injuries.

  • Poor Neuormuscle control and postural stability

  • Activities involved that involved a high load of running, jumping, and cutting


Simple steps to help decrease the chances of developing chronic ankle instability are:

  • Wearing exterior support to add needed stability to the ankle joint during play if you have had a previous injury

  • Working on improving single leg balance and control through therapeutic exercises

  • If injury has occurred getting on a proper treatment route to add in healing and recovery

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