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Tips for Avoiding Ankle Sprains

Tips for Avoiding Ankle Sprains

Nothing can disrupt an active lifestyle quite like an ankle sprain. Ankle sprains 一 which happen when the ligaments in your ankle are overstretched or torn 一 require rest, ice, compression bandages, and sometimes surgery before you can return to your normal routine. 

At Manhattan Podiatry Associates, PC, with office locations in Midtown and Downtown Manhattan, our specialists are experts when it comes to treating ankle sprains, but we also want to help you avoid one if possible. 

Below we share our best tips for avoiding an ankle sprain.

1. Wear the right shoes

One of the most important things you can do for your ankles (and your feet) is to wear the right shoes for the activity in which you are participating. For example, if you’re headed upstate to the Adirondacks for a weekend hike, choose the right hiking shoes with ankle support. This type of shoe can protect your ankles against the uneven terrain of hiking trails. 

Likewise, opt for high-top basketball shoes if you’re shooting hoops and soccer cleats if you’re headed to a soccer game.

In addition to wearing the right type of shoe, always wear shoes that have the right support for your feet and are the appropriate size. 

Tip for commuters: If you commute, consider wearing supportive walking shoes while walking to and from the office, and then change into your dress shoes once you’re at the office. This can reduce the risk of twisting your ankle in high-heeled shoes.

2. Run or walk on even surfaces

Your risk of spraining your ankle increases if you’re on an uneven surface. Sometimes this is unavoidable, so if you must walk, run, or play on uneven terrain, be vigilant and exercise extreme caution.

3. Warm up and cross train

Before any workout or game, it’s important to stretch and do warm-up exercises. When you warm up, you’re gently stretching your ligaments, which helps prevent them from overstretching and tearing. A few good stretches that support your ankle include:

In addition to stretching, it’s important to cross train. This can help provide added strength and condition your ankles, which is especially important if you engage in a sport that requires a lot of pivoting, like basketball.

4. Throw out old shoes

Once your shoes are worn out, it’s time to replace them. Wearing worn-out shoes can increase your risk of many different types of sports injuries, ankle sprains, and foot issues.

5. Tape or wrap your ankle

Once you’ve had one ankle sprain, your chances of spraining your ankle again are higher. You might benefit from wrapping or taping your ankle before engaging in workouts or games.

6. Seek podiatric care if you sprain your ankle

Even with these preventive strategies, accidents happen. If you sprain your ankle, it’s important to immediately remove yourself from the playing field and employ the RICE protocol: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Additionally, seek podiatric care as soon as possible. Even if you don’t need surgery, you might benefit from a splint and/or pain medication.

Concerned about your ankle? Schedule an appointment at Manhattan Podiatry Associates, PC. Call our office that’s most convenient to you or book an appointment online today to explore ankle sprain treatment options.

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