5 Ways to Prevent Ankle Injuries
Ankle injuries are one of the most common injuries among athletes. While it is impossible to completely prevent ankle injuries, taking precautionary measures before exercising can help limit the risks. Listed below are stretches to help strengthen and loosen up the muscles around the ankles. These exercises are great for both preventing injuries from happening and helping you recover from an existing injury:
One of the most important muscles to strengthen during any recovery or prevention of an ankle sprain is the peroneal muscle. These muscles extend from the top of the knee all the way down to where they attach at the bottom of the foot.
The exercise is easy: Gently roll onto the outside of your feet and walk around for 60 seconds. This helps strengthen your ankle muscles and gives them additional flexibility.
This simple exercise will help strengthen the muscles in and around the ankle, improving the joints stability. You can either sit on a chair or stand for this conditioning.
Extend your leg straight out, without bending the knee. Rotate your foot clockwise 10 to 20 times, rest leg for 5 seconds, and raise it again to rotate counterclockwise 10 to 20 times. Alternate legs and do 3 or 4 sets per side.
The Dorsiflexion stretch is crucial amongst runners. This stretch is responsible for strengthening the muscles that run along the shin of the leg, called the Anterior Tibialis. This muscle is what controls the up and down movements of the toes. Therefore, strengthening this muscle will not only help prevent shin splints, but can also help protect the muscles and tendons in the ankle.
First, sit on the floor with your right leg straight out and the left leg crossed, with the sole of your left foot resting against the inside of your right leg. Place a towel or band around the ball of the right foot and gently pull your toes back toward you. Hold for 15 seconds, repeat the stretch 4 times, and then switch legs.
Write the Alphabet
This exercise is as easy as reciting the alphabet! All you are doing is tracing every letter of the alphabet with your big toe. This exercise is best if you are seated in a chair.
Hold your right leg straight out in front. Using your big toe as the “pen”, first write each letter of the alphabet in all capital letters. The same process again with lower case letters, then switch feet and repeat. Writing the alphabet is a challenging exercise that will help strengthen both of your ankles!
Rupturing the Achilles tendon can set you back for quite a while. By doing regular Achilles stretches, you can help limit the risk of rupturing the tendon and help improve flexibility.
From a standing position, bend the knee of your left leg at a 45 degree angle. Step the right leg back and keep it straight. Ground the heel of your right foot and push the hips forward. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds and then switch legs, repeating 2 to 4 sets on each leg.
Athletes at Risk
At our Mission Valley Office, we see many athletes with injured ankles including: ballet dancers, MMA fighters, soccer players, baseball players, and foot ball players. It is important to perform the above mentioned exercises to help prevent ankle injuries. If you are currently experiencing an injury to the ankle, please schedule with our certified sports chiropractors today!