(This answer provided for NATA by the Eastern University Athletic Training Education Program.)
Asia E. Lo, DPM
Location and Office HoursFoot & Ankle Institute
Houston, TX 77082
- BlueCross BlueShield of Texas
- Community Health Choice
- Great-West Healthcare Cigna
- Texas Children's Health Plan
- United Healthcare
- Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital
- Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital
- West Houston Medical Center
Why is my ankle black and blue?
If your ankle is black and blue, it is a sign that damage has occurred to the soft tissues (i.e., muscle, tendon, skin, fat) in your ankle. The black and blue appearance of your ankle occurs because tiny blood vessels within the soft tissues (called capillaries) have been torn. When these tiny vessels are damaged, blood is allowed to escape the vessels and leak into the tissue. This black and blue appearance (a.k.a., bruising) can linger for several days, but will usually go away on its own. The bruising may change colors over several days because of chemical processes that are happening in the area. There is no need for concern regarding the changing color of a bruise.
(This answer provided for NATA by the Eastern University Athletic Training Education Program.)Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.
What is metatarsalgia?
Metatarsalgia is a general term for pain and inflammation in the metatarsal region of the foot, the area just before the toes that is more commonly referred to as the ball of the foot. It is often felt as pain in the base of the second, third or fourth toe on the bottom of the foot.
How can I prevent repeat ankle sprain injury?
While it is common to think that to prevent ankle sprains you should focus solely on strengthening the muscles around your ankles, in fact – and maybe more importantly – you must also concentrate your efforts on improving the strength of the muscles around your hips. Research demonstrates that when you sprain an ankle, not only do the connective tissues that support it become loose and less responsive but it also shuts down the butt muscles – decreasing the ability to maintain balance and proper lower body alignment. As a result, the lack of ligament support and decreased balance increases the risk of reinjuring your ankle. Without proper reconditioning, over time the hip muscles become less and less active and do not help protect the ankle, making you more susceptible to further ankle sprains and other injuries.
The most effective way to recondition your ankles and prevent future sprains is by doing exercises that wake-up and strengthen key muscles around the hips – i.e. butt muscles – as well as those that challenge your ability to balance on one leg and maintain proper alignment.
Incorporate the following exercises into the beginning of your exercise routine as part of your warm-up, performing 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions for each:
- Ball Bridge
- Tube Walking Side to Side
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- Single Leg Balance with Reach (progress from standing on the floor, to standing on a towel, to standing on a pillow cushion to enhance difficulty and challenge to the muscles around the ankle and hip)