Tips for Preventing Ankle Sprains

Every day, 25,000 people in the United States experience an ankle sprain. This injury can occur because of a twist or change in direction in sports, but plenty of non-athletes experience ankle sprains too when they take a misstep off a curb or trip over a rock on a casual hike. 

A sprain means you stretched or tore the ligaments at the ankle joint. At Go Feet, the team of expert podiatrists see a lot of ankle sprains --  many of which could have been prevented. Here’s what they want you to know, so you can protect your ankle from injury.

Choose shoes wisely

You may love the fashionable look of high heels, but know these shoes put you at a high risk for a number of ankle problems, including sprains. The elevation in the heel puts your foot and ankle into an unnatural position, making you incredibly unstable and prone to losing balance.

High heels aren’t the only footwear of which you need to be wary, however. Loose-fitting sandals, flip flops, and slides can make you unstable, so a trip is far more likely. Old shoes or ones all wrong for your sport of choice can also contribute to an ankle injury.

When you choose shoes, opt for ones that have a snug fit, and if necessary, use a custom orthotic to prevent any dysfunction. If you need shoe recommendations, consult the staff at Go Feet for your particular activity needs.

Stretch your ankle 

An important tendon at your ankle, the Achilles tendon, has the tendency to tighten up when neglected. This connective tissue attaches your calf to your heel bone. When it becomes resistant, you may experience pain and dysfunction. A tender Achilles compromises your ankle strength and puts you at risk of a sprain. 

Stretch the Achilles by standing on a step with your heel hanging off the back side. Slowly lower your heel downward until you feel a slight pulling sensation in the back of your ankle and your calf. The doctors at Go Feet are ready to offer other appropriate stretches to keep your ankle supple.

Strengthen the joint

Your ankle bears a lot of weight, but often doesn’t get the benefit of targeted strengthening. To keep your ankle performing at its best, move your ankles through a series of exercises to increase their resiliency and range of motion.

At Go Feet, we recommend the ABCs – an easy movement you can do just about anywhere. While sitting in a chair or leaning against a wall, lift one foot up off the ground. Use your ankle and foot to draw out the shapes of the alphabet. Make sure you do the movement for both ankles to improve their mobility and reduce the risk of experiencing a sprain.

Protect your ankle

If you’ve suffered ankle injury in the past, give the joint the support it needs. Wrap or tape your ankle to provide it with extra support and stability. Consult the team at Go Feet for tips on the type of tape or wrap to use and optimal technique.

Watch for uneven terrain

Anytime you’re outdoors, whether playing a sport or going for a casual walk, keep your eye on the terrain. Loose gravel, tree stubs, hidden rocks, uneven sidewalks, and potholes are ankle sprains waiting to happen.

We at Go Feet hope you never experience an ankle sprain, but if you do, the doctors are here to help you recover properly, so it is unlikely to happen again. If you have ankle problems or any concerns about your feet, call the nearest office to make an appointment, or schedule using the online tool.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Help for Your Bunions

A bunion may develop at any age, meaning anyone can experience the pain and deformity associated with this bump at your big toe joint. Bunions can’t be cured, but their growth can be slowed enough that you may delay or avoid surgery.

The Best Way to Prevent Heel Spurs

Heel spurs can cause pain and inflammation in your heel, making sports play and daily tasks impossible. They develop over time and, in many cases, can be avoided. Here’s what you should know about preventing heel spurs.

How to Keep Your Feet Supported This Summer

Footcare can be a little more complicated in the hot days of summer. Follow these 10 tips, which are also incredibly smart habits, to keep your feet healthy and safe even as the weather gets hot.

When Is Minimally Invasive Surgery Necessary for My Feet?

Surgery is sometimes the best way to heal a problem with your feet, such as a bunion or hammertoe. With the latest advances in surgery, the process is easier than ever and minimally invasive, so you recover faster and get back to doing what you love.

What Conditions Do Orthotics Correct?

Orthotics support normal and healthy movement in your foot and ankle. Read on to learn how they can be a part of a comprehensive treatment plan to address a variety of symptoms, including foot pain, stiffness, and ankle instability.