Ankle sprains are one of the most prevalent musculoskeletal injuries in both adults and children, and they can hinder your ability to participate in sports, work, and daily activities. To prevent ankle sprains, consider implementing the following tips. Your ankles will thank you for it.
What is an Ankle Sprain?
Ankle sprains may be diagnosed by orthopedic physicians when the ligaments in the ankle are stretched or impacted by excessive forces. These injuries typically occur on the outer side of the ankle and can vary in severity.
While some ankle sprains can heal on their own with adequate rest, ice, elevation, and support with an elastic bandage, others may need casting or even surgery to stabilize the ankle, to repair ligament tears, and prevent future sprains.
Preventing Ankle Sprains
Unfortunately, ankle sprains can become a recurring issue, leading to ankle instability, reduced mobility, and potentially even the need for surgery. To avoid these problems, it’s best to take steps to prevent ankle sprains before they happen by following these tips.
One, Warm-up And Stretch
It’s important to prepare your feet and ankles before starting a workout or going on a run. Take at least 10 minutes to stretch your feet and ankles, walk, and flex your ankle joints. These simple actions can increase blood circulation and flexibility. If you are starting a new exercise routine, increase your intensity gradually, and be sure to ask your PCP or orthopedic doctor if you are ready to begin your new activity.
Two, Wear The Right Shoes
Shoes should fit properly in the toes, heels, and arches to deliver good support. They should be appropriate for your sport or occupation. Runners should change to new shoes as soon as the tread pattern shows signs of wear.
Additionally, it’s recommended that women limit their use of high-heeled shoes to no more than 2-½ inches in height to reduce the risk of ankle sprains.
Three, Don’t Overdo It
Overuse can cause ankle sprains, particularly when the activity involves a lot of impact, twisting, and jumping. Be smart about how much and how often you work out. If you experience pain or weakness, it’s crucial to rest and work with your foot and ankle doctor to find safe ways to train and prevent further injury.
Four, Stay Trim
Excess body weight can increase the risk of ankle sprains and other foot and ankle conditions, both acute and chronic. To maintain a healthy weight and avoid putting unnecessary stress on your feet, ankles, hips, and knees, it’s important to eat sensibly, stay hydrated, and avoid consuming empty calories such as processed carbs and sugars, which can contribute to weight gain.
Five, Avoid Uneven Surfaces
Both runners and walkers should be cautious to avoid ankle sprains. The majority of these injuries occur when the ankle joint is suddenly and forcefully bent sideways, causing tears in the supportive ligaments. To reduce the risk of ankle sprains, it’s best to run or walk on smooth, even surfaces such as pavement or dirt paths.
Six, See Your Foot And Ankle Specialist Regularly if You Have a History of Sprains
Sustaining even one ankle sprain increases your chances of having repeat injuries. Talk to your orthopedic specialists for an ankle care plan tailored to your health, lifestyle, and sports.
Seven, Never Ignore Persistent Symptoms
If rest, ice, compression, and elevation do not alleviate your ankle symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention. For severe symptoms, it’s recommended that you go to the emergency room at your local hospital immediately. Alternatively, you can visit your foot and ankle physician for an expert assessment of your condition.
Your Foot And Ankle Centers in Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda, FL
At Advanced Orthopedic Center, we have ten board-certified orthopedic surgeons on staff. Dr. Steven Anthony is our foot and ankle specialist. He and his team know how best to treat–and to prevent–ankle sprains and other injuries, conditions, and deformities of the lower extremities.
For a personalized consultation and treatment plan, contact our office staff. In Port Charlotte, call (941) 629-6262, or in Punta Gorda, call (941) 639-6699. We will be happy to serve you!