3 ways to prevent and ankle injuryAnkle injuries are the most common type of injuries, especially for athletes that participate in sports that involve running or jumping. But these injuries can be avoided with the proper care and attention. Here are three ways to significantly lower your risk of an ankle injury and to help you stay upright and healthy.
Preparation for Activities
Drastic changes in the level of your activities or sports can lead to serious injuries and unnecessary stress on the body. Attempting to perform activities with which you are not familiar can result in activating parts of your body that are not used to being stressed so heavily. This has the possibly of resulting in in damage to ligaments or muscles, but also early fatigue and unnecessary strain that could lead to long term or permanent damage.
It is important to know and understand your current limitations and build on them slowly. Gradually building your exercises or activities will result in a much lower chance of accidental injury to the ankle or any other joints. Make sure to warm-up for at least 10 minutes before participating in any physical activity to ensure your body is ready for the action it is about to take.
Taping and Bracing Your Ankle
There are still many skeptics who do not believe in the advantages of taping or bracing joints even though there has been evidence to support its benefits. However, there are still many athletes and trainers who swear by the method. If you think it is right for you, then speaking to a qualified athletic trainer and having your ankles taped up properly will give you a better understanding for how this method may help you during movement.
Paying a visit to your local sporting goods store will show you what these braces and tapes look like and give you an idea on which size and fit is best for your body type.
Another way to prevent ankle or joint injury is to exercise in order to strengthen the muscles and ligaments of the ankle. This can be incorporated into your daily workout routine or your stretching and warm up routine before activities. Or in the case of those who have previously injured their ankles, it may have been used as an aid in order for them to recover properly from a sustained injury. The biggest risk factor for needing to have surgery as a result of an ankle injury is a previous injury, so a history of ankle problems should seriously be taken into consideration before any activity is performed.
As previous injuries can affect the long term health of the joint, it is crucial that you treat injuries immediately and correctly. If you have an ankle injury, immediately use ice and compression. Keep wet cloth between the ice and your ankle can avoid tissue damage, and use compression that is tight, but that does not cut off circulation.
It is important to note that although pain may disappear within a few days, the ligaments have not healed yet and can take up to four weeks to heal properly, so rest is fundamental for the healing process to run smoothly. Just remember RICE – rest, ice, compression, elevation for any ankle injuries.