You know how it goes. You’re focused on your athletic activity, pushing for peak performance, and then you feel your ankle slip out from under you. When you land or come down wrong on an ankle, especially if you slip sideways, you could be dealing with a sprain for days to come.
Ankle sprains cramp your style and prevent you from staying active the way you want. At The Woodlands Sports Medicine Centre, our team of experts provides treatments that help you heal better and faster from ankle sprains and other foot and ankle injuries. Still, wouldn’t it be better to avoid the injury in the first place?
With the right approach, you can prevent ankle sprains and strains. Here are some of the tips our team gives our patients in The Woodlands, Texas area for keeping ankles healthy and pain-free.
Causes of ankle sprains
Athletics tend to take a toll on your feet and ankles, and ankle sprains are some of the most common sports injuries we see at The Woodlands Sports Medicine Centre.
An ankle sprain occurs when the ligaments that hold your ankle joint in place become damaged or torn. You’re most likely to suffer damage to ligaments on the outside of your ankle when you experience a sprain.
Sprains happen when you come down on your ankle with a bend or a twist. You’re more likely to suffer a sprain when exercising on uneven terrain. Other people stepping on your foot or ankle can also cause a sprain.
Avoiding ankle sprains
You can treat the symptoms of pain, tenderness, and loss of range of motion experienced during an ankle sprain, often with simple, conservative interventions like rest, icing, compression, and elevation (RICE). But, to avoid time off the court or field for recovery, and to protect your ankles from long-term instability, it’s a good idea to prevent sprains as much as possible.
Update your footwear
Keeping your footwear in good condition protects your feet and ankles. Pay attention to any alignment issues you may be prone to, and make sure your shoes provide support as needed in the front and under the arch, with a stable heel base.
Shoes designed for your sport do more to prevent injuries related to common motions like jumping, twisting, and landing. Replace your shoes as needed based on wear, and avoid using worn-out athletic footwear to prevent ankle sprains.
Change your routine
Changes in your approach to athletic activity can also protect you from ankle sprains.
Always warm up thoroughly before you get active, slowly engaging your muscles. Don’t bounce during stretching, just let your muscles loosen up gradually.
You may also need to reconsider your workout terrain if you have concerns about ankle sprains. Loose, rocky turf, hills, and holes, and tree stumps can all create hazards for runners and other athletes.
Strengthen your ankle
Building up the muscles around your feet and ankles helps your joints hang in there when the pressure’s on, preventing injuries like strains and sprains. Gradually get into condition for your sport, working on strengthening your leg and ankle muscles over time. Plenty of stretching ensures that you maintain both strength and range of motion.
If you need care for a sprained ankle, or would like to consult with a sports medicine expert about your personal ankle sprain prevention plan, get in touch with the orthopedic specialists at The Woodlands Sports Medicine Centre today.
Schedule your appointment online or call 281-374-2273 now to book.