Sprained ankles are one of the most common injuries in sports that many athletes experience. For football players, this may be when a receiver runs with the ball and tries to juke the opposing team but lands on the wrong side of his foot and it becomes twisted. For the basketball athlete, it may be even more common to suffer from a sprained ankle. I cannot stress enough how many times high school basketball players wear an ankle brace because of having a sprained ankle.
Now let’s define what are the causes of having a sprained ankle. An ankle sprain occurs when the ankle joints or ligaments twist more than they should. The ankle joints are a very complex structure, when someone has sprained their ankle, one of their ligaments has been disrupted. Not having strong ankle joints can cause an athlete to have an even greater chance of getting sprained ankles. It is best to find exercises that target the ankles such as: step ups, toe raises, and heel and toe walking. Here is a more general detail of how to perform these exercises.
1. Step Ups: The step ups are simple exercises and only require you to step up on a step. It is as simple as that. Step up and down in a controlled manner and repeat for about 200 repetitions.
2. Toe Raises: Doing toe raises is very much similar like doing calf raises. On the edge of a step, stand on with your heels, raise the ball of your foot and hold it for a short amount of seconds then resume to normal position.
3. Heel and Toe walking: This is a very simple exercise, simply walk on your toe for around 30 to 60 seconds then switch over to walking with your heels for 30 to 60 seconds as well. Perform each of these exercises every day and remember to never overdue them. We want you to strengthen your ankles, not to make them sore.
When someone has a sprained ankle, it will be classified into 1 of 3 categories, they are:
Grade 1: This is the least severe type of an ankle sprain and the one you would want to get if you have a game in the next few weeks. Their is small stretching of some of the ligaments, and you may experience small pains and stiffness.
Grade 2: When someone has a grade 2 ankle sprain, they have swelling and a little loss of stability due to some stretching and tearing of the ligaments.
Grade 3: A grade 3 sprained ankle is the most severe and it is due to a complete tear to one of the ligaments in the ankles.
When someone has experienced any form of a sprained ankle, it is best to buy an ankle brace that is fit properly and follow the R.I.C.E. method. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation)
Rest: When someone has a sprained ankle, it is best to stop all activities and let your legs rest. This will let your ligaments at ease. Resting will give your body and ligaments time to heal and recover.
Ice: Get ice and wrap it around with a towel or use an ice pack. Cold limits swelling and helps ease the pain.
Compression: Compression helps reduce swelling, and when you have swelling, you will take longer to heal.
Elevation: Elevation will help control swelling, wherever a part is sprained, it is best to have it elevated above the heart, so if it is in the ankles then have your ankle elevated higher then your heart, elevate your ankle on a large pillow.
Following the RICE method is a great way to increase recovery time of a sprained ankle.