Preventing Ankle Sprains
An ankle sprain is an injury to the soft tissue part of your ankle. It usually occurs as a result of an incident that overstretches, pulls or tears one or more ligaments that connect bone to bone. At NY Foot Health, we know ankle sprains happen on sports fields and courts and sometimes just from common, everyday occurrences like missing the bottom step or stumbling on uneven pavement. Although it may seem like these injuries “just happen,” there are some steps you can take to prevent ankles sprains:
- Wearing appropriate shoes. Make sure your shoes provide good ankles support. Replace athletic and running shoes annually or every 300-400 miles, whichever comes first. If you have chronic weak ankles, you may want to look for high-top styles that lace up firmly around the ankle. Avoid flip-flops and other similar styles that allow the ankle to easily twist out of place.
- Always warm up before and after sports and exercise. Muscles and ligaments that are warm function better which decreases the risk of injuries.
- Be sure to complete the full course of treatment for ankle injuries. The number one cause of chronic weak ankles is not having fully rehabilitated an old ankle injury. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that once the pain is gone your ankle is fully healed. It’s necessary to strengthen the muscles that surround and support the ligaments to help prevent repeated strains. If you have had multiple sprains, talk to your podiatrist about the best course of treatment and precautionary measures. (Don’t have one? We can help you find a podiatrist.)
- Check the fields and surfaces where you will be running or playing a sport for holes and dips that can cause an ankle sprain. When walking, be aware of what’s in front of you. Look out for acorns, loose gravel and other small items that can cause you to lose your footing and your ankle to twist.
Helping you be proactive about your foot and ankle health is one of our goals at NY Foot Health. To learn more about foot conditions and caring for your feet, contact us and subscribe to our free e-newsletter.