Have you or someone you know ever rolled an ankle during running? Or possibly rolled onto the outside of the ankle? If so, you most likely experienced an ankle injury that could involve the ATFL. This ligament is located on the lateral aspect of your ankle and is known to be the most injured ligament in the ankle joint. This ligament is commonly injured when someone’s foot rolls out to the side.
Below are 3 tips to increase your chances of NOT experiencing an injured ankle:
1. Wearing Proper Footwear
Before performing any activity that involves the use of our ankles, one should choose shoes that properly fit the activity they are to perform. People tend to overlook the importance of footwear due to shoes not having the “perfect look” rather than the support they provide. For example: for basketball or baseball, shoes tend to be more “hightop” with ankle support whereas running shoes may have more of a well-cushioned sole for shock absorbency.
2.Stretching Prior to Activity
Recommended time one should stretch before an activity is around 5-10 minutes. Stretching is important because in order to prepare the body for what is to come, all joints and ligaments should be lengthened. Dynamic stretches are controlled movements that prepare muscles, ligaments, and soft tissues that prepare your body for performance and safety. Stretching to improve ankle mobility and stability decreases your chances of injuring your ankle during exercise. Below are 2 examples of dynamic ankle stretching.
3. Ankle Stability
Stability is the ability of the surrounding tissues of a joint to be able to support the joint when going through movements. A few exercises one can perform to improve ankle stability include calf raises, squats, and single leg balance activities. If ankle stability is poor, your chances of having an ankle injury are more likely to happen. Ankle stability encourages healthy balance, which helps to avoid falls and helps one continue doing what they love.