ANKLE INJURIES ARE one of an athlete's biggest enemies on the field. Ankle sprains account for 15% of all sports-related injuries, leaving thousands of players benched each year. Jumping, running and other strenuous activities can cause you to land on your feet in an unnatural way, tearing your ankle’s ligaments. By taking preventative measures and caring for your ankles during game-time and training, you can greatly reduce the risk of injury. Learn what you can do to keep ankle injuries at bay.
Practice Ankle Stretches
Don’t wait until you have a sprain, ankle exercises are great for strengthening ligaments and preventing common ankle injuries. Incorporate these ankle exercises into your warm-up routine:
- Ankle Circles - To do this exercise, sit on a chair or the floor and lift your leg in the air. Roll your ankles clockwise and then counter-clockwise to stretch the muscles both ways.
- Ankle Alphabet - Just as it sounds, you’ll be spelling out the alphabet with your ankle. This helps increase your range of motion and strengthen ligaments at the same time.
- Calf Raises - Simple and effective, calf raises help train your ankles to have control with shifting body weight. Stand up straight, push through the balls of your feet and raise up your heels so that you’re standing on your toes. Lower yourself down slowly, and repeat.
- Balancing Exercises - Stand on one leg, bend your knee and hold for 30 seconds. This strengthens both your ankles and the rest of your lower body.
Use Compression Socks
Athletic compression socks not only to increase circulation but also work to stabilize the joints of the ankle. Lasso’s athletic compression socks are actually designed to mimic ankle taping, a practice used to enhance performance and reduce the risk of injuries. Traditional ankle taping, however, is both time-consuming and complicated, because the tape must be placed in a certain way for optimal performance. Most of the time, taping is only effective for the first 30 minutes of activity. Additionally, prolonged use of compression socks doesn’t compromise ankle mobility and strength like traditional taping does. You can use compression socks as a daily preventative measure and for recovery post-exercise.
Choose the Right Athletic Shoes
Having the right athletic shoes for your sport or physical activity can make all the difference. When choosing shoes, it's important to take your specific needs into account. For those with low arches and overpronation, extra cushioning and support are recommended. Depending on what you play, you may also want to invest in sport-specific shoes. For example, if you’re stepping onto the court for a game of tennis, tennis shoes are crucial to your game. They are constructed with extra support and special out- and mid-soles to protect against tennis ankle. Each sport comes with its own intricacies, and the right shoes will enhance your performance and protect your body.
Avoid Uneven Surfaces
During training or exercise, avoid taking a walk off the beaten path. Uneven terrain, potholes and even things like tree roots or debris can be catalysts for ankle sprains by causing the foot to move out of its normal position. For those who enjoy running, avoid brick or cobblestone pathways or areas with sand to keep ankles safe.
The best way to guard against sprained ankles before you hit the field is to take preventive care and use the right gear. Combined with the tactics mentioned above, Lasso Gear’s athletic compression socks are a useful method for preventing common ankle injuries. Our specially designed athletic compression socks have been proven to reduce ankle rolls by using Smart Support™ technology that mimics medical taping patterns.
Up your gear game with athletic compression socks that go the extra mile.