I was born with hypermobile joints, especially in my knees, ankles, elbows and shoulders.
Hypermobility is a connective tissue condition (usually inherited) in which the body’s collagen is more elastic than the ‘norm’, leading to increased flexibility. For some people, notably musicians, gymnasts, dancers and sports people, this natural flexibility gives a very useful advantage, though it leaves them more prone to injuries such as sprains and dislocations. In others, it can cause clumsiness, lack of spatial awareness and joint pain.
If I’m not making any conscious effort to stand differently, my knees will hyperextend backward and my ankles will cave inwards.
It’s very easy for me to twist my ankles outwards if I’m walking on uneven terrains or during certain sports like football, where the grass provides a cushioned and slightly unstable landing pad for the feet. I’ve been aware of this condition for many years, but during the last year or so I’ve been struggling with pain around the right ankle especially. The pain intensifies after I play padel or tennis, and can linger for months unless I stop playing for a month or two.
I’ve decided to see what I can do to deal with this condition, and in this post, I’ll be documenting my journey. The start date is November 2020.
Note that if you have just injured your ankle, the best thing to do is to follow the RICE methodology and apply heat or ice as necessary, and see a specialist. You might eventually also use EMS to treat the injury.