Extreme pain in my ankles while riding - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 10-16-2012, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: New Orleans, La
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Extreme pain in my ankles while riding

So I've dealt with bad balance ever since I can remember. Due to my bad balance I stumble while walking a lot, and have twisted both ankles to the point of swelling at least 10 times in the last three years. Sometimes I was hiking and stepped on a very small rock that tossed me off balance. Sometimes I was walking on flat concrete and the edge of my shoe caught a crack and knocked me off. It's been very frustrating! The past year or so I really concentrated on strengthening my ankles and it has helped. If I trip over a crack in the cement, I can catch myself before it 'gets too bad' and be just fine.

Now I've picked up riding again, and my ankles hurt so bad that it feels like they're flopping around inside of my boot and my foot is literally turning in. Today while cantering I suddenly noticed my right foot wasn't flat on the stirrup. It was stuck in a corner at 45 degrees. I was in such extreme pain I was unable to move my foot back into position and had to stop and take my feet out of the stirrups.
Taking my feet out of the stirrups and resting the ankles a bit will cause the pain to get away 100%. However, 20-30 seconds after putting my foot in the stirrup, even while standing still, I've got fire radiating through my ankles.

Sometimes it's one. Sometimes it's both. Sometimes it doesn't even happen and I can ride for an hour without any pain. The days of pain don't happen in a pattern. It's not as if I'm 'over doing it' one day, and riding the next to extreme pain.

My trainer says she can't see my ankle rolling. My previous trainer said the same. Both of these women are national level riders with years under their belts. If they say I don't look like I'm in agony, then I don't, but my balance is suffering greatly because my legs are gripping improperly to try and alleviate some of the stress and I can't even stop myself from doing it. The other day it was so bad I was literally stuck in the 2 point position after a jump and could not fall back into the saddle.

Can anyone suggest anything? I do not have any kind of insurance, so I am unable to get medical attention. I've searched this on google and have decided to start a PT program of my own with a strength band. I've also heard that jointed or offset stirrups can help.
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post #2 of 7 Old 10-16-2012, 08:46 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Johnson Creek, WI
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I have the EXACT same problem (actually started a thread abt is a while ago) and the only things I have found that are helping are the jointed stirrups and ace wrap.

I'll be watching your thread to see if anyone else has some ideas. It's incredibly frustrating! I've had to stop more than I lesson because of my stupid ankles so I feel for you!

"Vulgarity is no substitute for wit. - Lady Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham
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post #3 of 7 Old 10-16-2012, 09:04 PM
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Location: Australia
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Try a pair of jointed/flex stirrups, they are great for a lot of people with ankle and knee complaints.
Can you try strapping your ankles for when you ride?
What type of boots do you ride in? Maybe you need to look at getting a boot with a stiff ankle. At home I ride in Ariat zip ups with stiff leather gaiters over the top, I find that they provide a great deal or ankle support. Top boots are firm through the ankle and may help as well.

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post #4 of 7 Old 10-16-2012, 09:12 PM
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I broke my ankle several years ago and am unfortunately paying the price for not letting it heal properly. I agree with the above posters - I purchased Metalab jointed stirrups and they have helped me tremendously. Also had to switch the boots I ride in to a more western (Ariat) style that has added support for my ankle.
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post #5 of 7 Old 10-16-2012, 09:16 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Quad Cities, IL
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Going to my orthopedic on Monday for the same issue. Chronic pain an sprains :( Wrapping might help you, but for me it just came down to where I can't ride English anymore, my ankle just won't do it or I'm in extreme pain. In order so jump I have to take a few Tylenol codeine and they make me sick. So in turn I ride western and keep my stirrups a bit long to keep the pressure off.
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post #6 of 7 Old 10-16-2012, 10:32 PM
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You might need to drop your stirrups. If you really drop your weight into your heels and your stirrups are a hair too high, it can cause ankle pain.

I've heard lots of great things about jointed stirrups too.

* I'm often reading and posting from mobile and Siri loves to make a mockery of the English language.
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post #7 of 7 Old 10-16-2012, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: New Orleans, La
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I tried dropping my stirrups today after riding for about 15 minutes and the pain setting on. Dropping them helped a lot, but I was still very uncomfortable. I'm going to wrap up for the next few rides and see how that works, along with saving up to buy another pair of stirrups.

I wear Ariat paddock boots with an elastic panel on the ankles (both sides). I'm sure that's not helping, but they were comfortable when I bought them!
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