How to Protect Your Ankle from Sports Related Injuries
If you are into sports and fitness activities, then you will be well aware of the fact that ankle injuries are quite common and you may know how to avoid them. Ankle sprains, for instance, are often observed in people involved in various sports activities. Sprains involve tearing of ligaments that connect one bone to another and thus assist in stabilizing the joint. In most cases, sports requiring turning, jumping and twisting movements like volleyball, basketball, football, netball as well as aggressive changes of direction associated with tennis, hockey and soccer are regarded as risk factors that can lead to serious ankle sprains. Once the ankle sprain develops, the joint is going to become unstable and may even take quite a long time to heal.
Acute ankle sprains are frequently caused by a strong force that is applied to the ankle joint. This leads to excessive movement around the joint area. Sportsmen and women usually become immediately aware of the condition. They may also hear a distinctly audible ‘pop’ or ‘snap’ due to stretching or tearing of the specific joint ligaments.
Here are some of the major risk factors that may lead to ankle sports injuries.
- Previously existing ankle injuries that are poorly rehabilitated
- Absence of proper flexibility around the ankle joint
- Lack of sufficient strength and stability in the ankle area
- Poor and improper balance of the joint
- Increasing age of an athlete or player
- Changes in direction that occur suddenly due to acceleration or deceleration
Apart from the physical health challenges that might lead to an ankle injury, there can also be other factors that lead to an ankle sprain or some other serious problem. For instance, if you are playing on a surface of poor condition, then there is a high chance that you may slip accidentally and develop an injury. It is also important to warm up properly before a game or an exercise routine as this helps to avoid injuries. Before you start playing, the various parts of your body are in inertia or rest and it helps to do warm up, which can reduce risks of injuries. You should also wear proper footwear for any sporting activity that you are undertaking. Incorrect footwear has been found time and again to be responsible for injuries. If you had any previous injured ankles, it is important that you make use of an external ankle support system like bracing or taping to provide the required support.
Here are some other precautionary steps that you should follow:
- Undertaking proper training before a competition so as to ensure complete readiness for a game
- Increasing the duration and intensity of the training only gradually
- Make sure that you do agility work in your training programs as this can help your ankle joint to develop strength, which can help in sustaining strong acceleration forces resulting from fast changes in direction
- You should also undertake balance, flexibility, strengthening and stretching exercises
Following the above methods can prevent you from developing any kind of serious ankle injuries while you are involved in sports activities.