Who doesn’t dread an ankle injury or sprain that keeps them out of the game for weeks, especially if they thrive on being active?
Ankle sprains and injuries are not only painful when they occur. It’s the kind of vexing, lingering injury that can last for weeks.
It’s not unexpected that folks who run or work out regularly will do everything they can to avoid these unpleasant injuries. While there is no technology that can totally avoid ankle injuries, it does not mean that safe support is impossible.
We’ve put together a solution below to help you figure out how to prevent rolled ankles and what gives you optimal ankle support.
Anatomy of Ankle
The ankle is a sophisticated device. As we know it, the ankle is made up of two joints: the subtalar joint and the true ankle joint.
The actual ankle joint is made up of three bones:
- The tibia, which forms the inside, or medial, section of the ankle.
- The fibula, which forms the lateral, or outside, a portion of the ankle; and the talus, which forms the underneath component of the ankle. The true ankle joint is in charge of the foot’s up-and-down action.
- The subtalar joint, which comprises the talus on top and the calcaneus on the bottom, is located beneath the real ankle joint. The subtalar joint permits the foot to move side to side.
Articular cartilage covers the ends of the bones at these joints. The ankle’s major ligaments are the anterior tibiofibular ligament, which connects the tibia to the fibula.
The lateral collateral ligaments, which connect the fibula to the calcaneus and provide lateral stability. The deltoid ligaments, which connect the tibia to the talus and calcaneus and provide medial stability.
Together with the muscles and tendons of your lower leg, these ankle components work together to withstand the load placed on your ankle while you walk, run, and leap.
Causes and Symptoms of Rolled Ankles
A rolled ankle occurs when the foot twists or rolls suddenly, pulling the ankle joint out of its natural position.
As a result of a rapid or unexpected movement during physical exercise, the ankle may twist inward. This causes one or more ankle ligaments to strain or rip.
As a result of these tears, some swelling or bruising may ensue. When you put weight on the affected area, you may experience pain or discomfort. Tendons, cartilage, and blood vessels may also be harmed as a result of the roll.
If you detect any of the following symptoms in your ankle, you may have a rolled ankle:
– Inability to put weight on the affected ankle
– Skin discoloration
The ankle can be injured in a variety of ways. When you have ankle pain, you should consult your doctor. Your doctor can evaluate whether the damage is a roll or something more serious.
How to Prevent Rolled Ankles?
#1. Choose Your Footwear Based on Activity
If you were going on a long-distance hike, you would most likely want ankle-high boots. This would improve your ankle stability as you climbed through rocky terrain.
It is advisable to select footwear based on the activity you intend to engage in. Different shoes are made for specific functions. Purchase shoes that will improve your balance and ankle stability.
If you intend to go trekking, buy hiking shoes that provide appropriate support for the terrain.
If you want to play basketball, you need to wear high-quality shoes with ankle support. Buy running shoes if you want to run, and walking shoes if you want to walk.
#2. Strengthen Your Leg, Foot, Hip, and Core Muscles
The strength and function of your hips and trunk are critical to how you move. Consider running lightly and rapidly changing direction. If you lack core strength, your body will likely continue to move due to a lack of hip control.
When your body weight exceeds what your foot and ankle can control, the result could be a rolled ankle or a tumble. This is why, throughout workouts, it is critical to focus on hip and back strengthening.
Increasing ankle strength is also an excellent protective measure. Single leg strengthening exercises such as squats, lunges, dips, and rubber band strengthening routines can help with this.
A firmer foundation will help you stay on your feet and handle changes in body position.
#3. Improve Your Balance
Improving your balance is one method to avoid ankle sprains. Your vision affects your equilibrium because your body moves in response to what it sees based on anticipation, experience, and expectations.
Without your eyes, your body relies on proprioception to determine where you are in space. The nerves in your foot and ankle assist you in detecting the surface on which you are walking, running, or jumping.
The vestibular system, which is the work of the inner ear, tells you if you’re moving, spinning, falling, or experiencing any other body position changes. When all three of these balance systems are functioning properly, you are most likely in good form.
There are ways to enhance your balance and avoid injury. One method is to practice balancing on one foot while brushing your teeth or doing a light upper-body activity.
Your foot and ankle nerves will continue to adjust and train the surrounding muscles in your ankle/leg/hip and even lumbar stabilizers to activate and control your movements.
#4. Maintain Full Ankle Dorsiflexion
Ankle Dorsiflexion is a movement in which the ankle bends backward. Full ankle dorsiflexion is extremely important in your posture and mobility. This is especially true while you’re moving, such as when you’re walking, running, squatting, or jumping.
When you detect pain, you should stretch the ankle joint aggressively and perform activities to open up the Achilles and calf. When walking, this restores normal dorsiflexion and permits the ankle to sit in the middle.
Excessive foot pronation, knee valgus, and the development of a big toe bunion can all result from restricted ankle mobility.
#5. Use the Big Toe
Another prevalent tendency is to walk toward the foot’s pinky toe side when treating patients with recurring ankle sprains. In other words, they tend to walk with more weight on the outside of the foot.
Try to observe where you feel the weight on the bottom of your foot the next time you walk. Is it in the middle, or on the big toe or pinky toe side?
When your foot is behind you, the majority of your weight should be transferred through the big toe as your foot glides off the ground.
People who suffer from recurring ankle sprains tend to “duck out” their feet or walk on the outside of their feet.
Learn to roll off the big toe side of your foot by using your entire foot. This may help to prevent repeated ankle.
The ankle is important in adapting to different ground conditions and in assisting your legs when walking long distances. Ankle rolls can affect persons of all ages, but they are most common in teenagers through those in their mid-30s.
So, if you participate in activities that have caused or may induce ankle rolls, be aware that you may assist yourself adjust to these situations by using the methods outlined above.
Hope this article can help you know how to prevent rolled ankles and keep your ankle working at its best.