Obviously, because of its very nature – unexpected – a sprained ankle cannot always be prevented. However, after recovering from an injury, it’s important that you invest time and effort into prevention so that you don’t have to experience the pain of a sprained ankle again.
Some key principles to follow to prevent future ankle sprains include:
- If you feel tired or have overexerted yourself, don’t be afraid to take a break. Many ankle injuries occur when the rest of your body is tired and not prepared to respond appropriately to sudden or traumatic impact.
- Try not to compensate for pain or weakness in one muscle group by overusing muscles in other areas. Instead, work to proportionally strengthen all muscle groups relative to your activity, fitness level, and needs. The more balanced your strength and flexibility throughout your body, the better off you’ll be at avoiding injury – and this no more true than in your leg muscles and ankle joints.
- If you regularly tax your ankles, do what you can to make sure they are both strong and supple. Too much strength and not enough flexibility, or vice versa, will work against you and lead to future tears and pulls, if not even more serious injuries.
- If you do not regularly tax your ankles in your normal exercise routine or sport, incorporate exercises into your strength training routine that seek to strengthen and stretch these important muscles, joints, and ligaments.
- If you have previously injured or sprained your ankle, consider wearing an athletic brace to give you the added support and confidence to participate in your favorite activities and sports.
- Warm up properly. In the same way as your muscles, the ligaments in your ankles are more flexible when they are warmed up, so stretching after a short warm up is important. However, be sure to learn the proper ways to stretch, so you don’t accidentally overstretch and thus strain your ligament tissues.
- Be sure to learn the proper techniques for your sport or exercise of choice. When you know how to perform the movements correctly not only will your enjoyment and skill level improve, but your chance for injury will dramatically decrease because you will put less strain on the muscles, ligaments, and joints of your body, particularly your ankle.
- Stretch AFTER you exercise. Just as important as stretching before you use your ankles is stretching after you’re done. When the body is already warmed up, it’s an excellent time to work on your flexibility and this includes your ligament flexibility. This will also help prevent over-tightening as you cool down.
If you want to keep yourself active and injury-free, we highly recommend the following Chi Herbal formulas, remedies, and therapies.
XYZ Therapies. (we will fill in)
Related Sport Injury Treatments: (list of links to other injury pages)
For specific stretching and strengthening movements refer to the Prevention section below or to the Chi Therapies section on the site.