Sport is back! Can you guess how many people will ‘roll’ or ‘sprain’ their ankles this season? Go on, give it a go! If you guessed between 15-30%, you’d be right!
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a beginner netball player for your local club, or an elite soccer player for Liverpool… this blog is for everyone!
So what is an ‘ankle sprain?’
Well… Your ankle is a vast network of bones, muscles, nerves, tendons and ligaments. Let’s focus on the ligaments for a second.
Ligaments help to stabilise and hold various bones together by preventing excessive movement. When the foot twists, rolls or turns beyond it’s normal capability, these ligaments can stretch and even tear depending on the severity. These injuries are often accompanied by reduced ability to bear weight through the foot, decreased mobility, swelling and inflammation.
Is a sprained ankle a one-off event?
It may seem like it. However, the answer is no. Any acute event is a sign of underlying weakness of surrounding structures that were unable to support the ankle in a position it’s not usually accustomed to. This is why it’s super important to keep your ankles nice and strong even if you’ve never sprained your ankle before!
Does this mean if I sprain my ankle once, it’s likely to happen again?
Correct. When you sprain your ankle, you don’t only stretch the ligaments. You also stretch the surrounding muscles, tendons and nerves. This affects your strength, balance and proprioception (your body’s ability to know the position of your foot without you looking down to figure it out!). The good news is that there’s something you can do about this! A tailored treatment and exercise program can help you to improve these ailments and prevent re-occurrence.
So what do you suggest for the up and coming sporting season?
If you have ever sprained or rolled your foot or ankle before, consider a brace or strapping to support your ankle and prevent any further injury. We also suggest a regular exercise program to help improve your strength, balance and proprioception as mentioned above!
If you’ve recently suffered a sprained ankle, or have chronic ankle problems – make an appointment to have it checked out by one of our Physio’s. We’ll show you how to accelerate your recovery. How to strap it up for sport and exercise. And teach you the exercises to regain full ankle mobility and strength.