Understanding the Three Common Ankle Injuries in Athletes

It’s always essential for athletes to be at their best at all times, especially during practices. But there are times when pushing yourself too hard can take a toll on your body.

Most people often neglect their ankles until something goes wrong with them. It can range from a simple sprain when practicing or even persistent discomfort every after a race.

Every joint’s complex biomechanics is delicate, making ankle injuries quite common in athletes, especially runners. To help ensure that they won’t keep you in the benches, here are a few common ankle injuries and what you can do to treat them.

Sprain

Experts say that sprains happen when a person overstretches their ligaments. When suffering from an ankle sprain, it’s essential to reduce the swelling, pain, and inflammation within 24 hours. To do this, you need to rest, put some ice, compress the affected area, and elevate it (RICE).

Depending on the damage’s severity, Runner’s World says it’s advisable to wear a brace to protect the damaged ligament. To promote early mobilization of the foot, you must maintain an ideal range of motion. It’s also crucial to work on neuromuscular control exercises with the supervision of a podiatrist. Working on muscle activation can also prevent ankle sprains.

Achilles Tendinopathy

ankle injury

Another type of runner’s injury is Achilles Tendinopathy. It’s often a result of weak calf muscles and reduced upward flexion range. This injury causes stiffness and swelling, which is also treatable through RICE. Aside from controlling pain and reducing any form of physical activity, it’s also important to stretch the calf muscles. Doing so will help recover the person’s movement range.

You can do it by standing up with both heels and hanging over a step. Then, slowly lower one heel and hold it for half a minute. Please switch to the other side and do it three more times. You can prevent it from happening by doing some strength exercises using a resistance band. Active Network Corporation says that another way to strengthen your muscles is by doing a single-leg balance. It not only strengthens your ankles, but it also works well with the other parts of your lower body.

Other types of tendinopathy

Particular types of overuse injuries can affect an athlete’s ankles. They include¬†tibialis tendinopathy and peroneal tendinopathy, often resulting from running on hills or from overpronation. The affected ankles can be painful to touch, especially when the muscles undergo some tests. Same with the rest of the injuries on the list, you can treat these types of tendinopathy through RICE and muscle strength exercises.

You should also do a few balance training to help increase the ankle’s movement range. Meanwhile, you can also use wobble boards when doing squatting exercises. It’s an ideal way to achieve better gluteal strength.

Regular practice is always a great way to boost your endurance. But you also need to remember that pushing yourself to the limits can also have detrimental effects on your body. So, always try to achieve the right balance between proper training and getting enough rest. Doing so will not only help you train better, but it’ll also reduce any potential injuries in the long run.

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