Preventing Ankle Sprains
Out of all the possible injuries humans sustain, ankle sprains are perhaps the most common. In part, this can be attributed to the fact you don’t even have to be an athlete to sprain an ankle. Sure, you have a greater risk when making a sharp turn while playing soccer or football, but all it takes is misjudging the height of a step or distance to a curb and you can end up twisting your ankle excessively.
We are certainly able to provide the effective treatment you need for a sprained ankle, but we prefer to know you were able to avoid suffering from the injury in the first place. The good news is there are measures you can take to prevent an ankle sprain, including:
- Warm up and use dynamic stretches before physical activity.
- Wear shoes that are activity-appropriate and fit correctly.
- Be mindful of the surfaces you walk or run on.
- Do not wear high-heeled shoes, or at least wear them sparingly.
- Perform balance exercises and stability training.
- Exercise and eat well to maintain muscle strength and flexibility.
Your ankle joints play an essential role in allowing for mobility, independence, and the ability to perform favorite physical activities and sports. In the event you do sprain an ankle—and do not treat it properly—you can develop chronic ankle instability. With this condition, you have a heightened risk for future ankle sprains.
After you have already sustained an ankle sprain, measures you can take to reduce your risk of chronic ankle instability and future ankle sprains include:
- Shoes – Always pick models that are activity appropriate and fit properly. Lace them up tightly so as to protect your ankles during physical activities. Don’t forget to choose footwear that has sufficient arch support and cushioning to further protect your feet, since fatigue can increase the likelihood of injury.
- Stretching – Keep the connective tissues in your ankle joints limber by stretching on a regular basis. This will allow the connective tissues to have the greatest range of motion and not become sprained as easily as tight ligaments would.
- Strengthening – Strong muscles will help to provide greater support and stability, so be sure to incorporate strength training activities in your workout program. (Don’t worry – this doesn’t mean you need to become an Olympic weightlifter!)
- Sufficient recovery – When you do become hurt, especially with an ankle sprain, it is important to have the injury diagnosed and treated properly. This includes making sure you don’t rush too quickly back into action, since this increases the likelihood of greater damage and risk for a recurring issue. We will let you know when it is safe to resume your normal activities.
For more information about ankle sprain prevention or to request an appointment with Wisconsin Foot Center for foot or ankle treatment, call (414) 425-8400 today.
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