Oct 07

5 Ways to Avoid Sports Ankle Injuries

There are many potential sports related injuries. Common sports related injuries include; knee, foot, ankle, shoulder, rotator cuff, and ankle injuries. Ankle and foot injuries are among the most common. They can be related to such athletic activities as running, soccer, tennis, hiking, and biking. As with most injuries sports ankle injuries can be avoidable. Learn 5 ways to avoid sports ankle injuries.

Make Sure and Warm Up
Sports ankle injuries or injuries to any part of the body can be caused by going “right into” activity. Your body can have a hard time going from sitting still to full speed activity. Conducting a proper warm up will help avoid this. Lightly stretching or a few minutes of slow jogging helps prepare every part of your body for sports activity by getting the blood flowing and warming up the muscle.

Do Proper Conditioning
You wouldn’t expect anyone to go from being a couch potato to running a 10k. They would have to work up to it. No matter what sports activity you are doing, this is a great rule of thumb. You need to condition every part of the body especially ankles for the activity. Begin by starting out slowly and gradually increasing the amount of time spent on the activity. Your feet and ankles will thank you.

Make Sure Your Shoes Are the Right Type and Fit
Your ankles are responsible for holding your whole body up during any sports activity. Proper footwear is critical to provide the support and shock absorbency that your ankles need. You should get athletic shoes that offer two levels of support; support to the front of the foot and to the arch. Make sure that the shoes offer proper stability to the heel and back of your foot. Also, make sure the shoes fit properly. You don’t want them to slip around as you exercise. Following these two guidelines will make sure that shock to your ankle is minimized and that your ankle receives proper support.

Avoid Uneven Surfaces
We mentioned that the majority of sports injuries are caused by straining, over stretching, or sudden twisting. Your ankle stand a great chance of this because during sports you plant your feet and then need to change direction quickly. If you are on an uneven surface then you are greatly increasing the risk. Try to avoid rocky areas, holes, tree stumps, etc. An interesting fact to remember is that concrete is actually harder on your ankle and body then a dirt road.

Don’t Push Too Hard
You have heard the saying, “No pain, no gain”. To some extent this is true if you are weightlifting. But, no matter the sport activity, you should not ignore foot or ankle pain. Pain is there for a reason. It is telling you something is wrong. First thing to try is slowing down or modifying the activity causing ankle or foot pain. If this does not cause the pain to subside then stop the activity all together. If the pain continues then you may need to consult with a physician.

Sports ankle injuries can happen with any type of sport. It is a potential with many different activities. If you make sure and warm up, condition your ankle properly, make sure you have the right type of shoes and they fit properly, avoiding uneven surfaces, and don’t push your body too far then you will greatly decrease your risk for sports ankle injuries. The next time you get ready to indulge in your favorite sport then remember these 5 ways to avoid sports ankle injuries.