CONDITION - Chronic Ankle Sprain
The word chronic usually refers to the fact that either the injury occurred over six (6) weeks ago and it is still painful, or if you have had repetitive injuries to this same ankle.
Sometimes the persistent pain is due to a more severe sprain of your ligaments causing a complete tear and some separation of the bones of your ankle when stress is applied. This is usually referred to as a "Grade 3 sprain". This separation can cause a feeling of instability especially when your foot is on uneven ground or when stepping off a curb.
Patients with chronic ankle sprains complain that their, "ankles feel loose", and have a tendency to turn in easily. These people will sprain their ankles repeatedly, even with mild injuries.
Often, one of the major problems with chronic ankle sprains is that the muscles around the ankle have gotten weak, and the nerve fibers to the ankle itself have become injured. You lose the ability to know exactly where your ankle is subconsciously (that's known as proprioception) and your muscles are not fit to react to the stresses of everyday life. Whether you realize it or not, your body reacts to the world around it millions of times a day by reflex. After repeatedly spraining your ankle, you can lose this protective reflex.