Ankle sprains are a common injury that most individuals will experience at least once in their lives, or more if they’re an athlete. However, despite their common occurrence, ankle sprains can be debilitating. Aside from being painful and limiting your mobility, they can also cause the affected ankle to become weakened and vulnerable to future re-injury. For these reasons, it’s important to be aware of what you can do to prevent a sprained ankle.
Wear the Right Shoes
Wearing the wrong shoes is the most common cause of ankle sprains. High heels are particularly likely to cause this. They not only hold the foot and ankle in an unnatural and unstable position but also provide insufficient surface area at the heel, which makes you more likely to lose your balance. The shoes you wear should always be designed for the particular activity you’re engaging in. For instance, while hiking over uneven terrain, wearing hiking boots with a high top will stabilise your ankles and keep you from injuring them. Furthermore, be sure to tie your shoes securely. Tripping over shoelaces can also lead to ankle sprains.
Warm Up Before Exercising
Many ankle sprains occur during sports or exercise. While these are usually accidents that are not entirely preventable, you can take steps to minimise your risk of injury. Prior to engaging in any vigorous physical activity that involves use of the ankles, it’s essential to warm up with some gentle stretching that targets these areas. This promotes blood flow to the ankles and loosens up the ligaments, allowing them to move more freely and preventing them from tightening up in the middle of your routine. After stretching, do some light physical activity, like a brisk walk, for about five minutes. Once you’re finished with your routine, don’t just kick back and call it a day. It’s a little-known fact that you should stretch again afterward. This helps to further prevent the ligaments and muscles in your ankles from bunching up, which could cause you to injure them during everyday activity.
It’s also important to note that you should avoid performing any activity that you’re not conditioned for. For instance, going for a run or playing soccer when you haven’t trained for it can put too much strain on ill-prepared ankles, significantly increasing your chances of serious injury.
Taping and Ankle Braces
If you’ve sprained your ankle in the past and struggle with ankle weakness as a result, you may wish to consider taping the ankle or investing in a supportive brace. These methods can provide essential support to the affected ankle while allowing you to resume your regular athletic activities. However, taping and supports are not recommended for long-term use. Doing so will prevent the muscles of the ankle from becoming stronger, thereby making future injury more likely.
Sprains are painful injuries that can prevent you from doing the things you enjoy most. While you can’t always prevent a sprained ankle, if you follow these simple tips, you can minimise your risk considerably. Consult treatment for sprained ankle at Providence Orthopaedics.