Ankle sprains top the list of the 10 most common injuries in any sport, accounting for 1 million injuries annually and costing more than $2 billion in treatment. While ankle sprains are not life-threatening injuries, they do require ample recovery time and are the cause for players being sidelined from the game on a daily basis.
Fortunately, there are some tips athletes; coaches, trainers and parents of athletes can take into consideration to help players stay in the game. Dr. Barry Katz, developed a groundbreaking ankle support technology, which he incorporated into the Ektio shoes, which are specifically designed to combat ankle injuries in the game by providing the highest level of ankle support. As former basketball player and current orthopedic radiologist, Dr. Katz is well versed in ankle injuries and shared a few preventative measures to help avoid ankle injuries.
1. Warm Up and Cool Down
Engaging in a regular warm up and cool down is essential for athletes of all sports. Having a regular routine is critical to avoiding injuries because it allows the body to gradually work up to a high intensity level of play. Allowing time for a light jog and stretching is highly recommended to get the blood circulating and avoiding injuries.
2. Condition the Muscle Around the Ankle
The muscles around the ankle are a major support system and are often put under a great deal of stress. Strengthening those muscles by regularly performing exercises will help stabilize the ankle when an athlete is put an ankle sprain prone situation. Some of the best exercises to perform include: standing jump squats, calf raises and plyometric training.
3. Wear Proper Shoes
Searching for the proper shoe can be a time consuming process, but every athlete is built different so finding a supportive shoe is essential to avoiding injury. The Ektio shoes are highly sought after because they provide support that is unrivaled by traditional athletic footwear, but still allow the athlete to have a full range of motion.
4. Avoid Rough or Uneven Playing Surfaces
Uneven playing surfaces are a major contributor to many ankle injuries. Avoiding rough terrain and finding a surface that provides stability is key for athletes. However, if you’re planning on engaging in a high-level of activity on a uneven surface, then it is recommend that you train on that surface to prepare your body for potential hazards.