Safe Athletics: How to Prevent Ankle Injuries

From the moment you get out of bed in the morning, your ankles are constantly providing support and mobility. When you add sports to the mix, the added stresses on these joints can lead to injury. 

At Neuhaus Foot and Ankle, our expert team of foot and ankle specialists believes that prevention plays a critical role in safeguarding the health of your lower extremities.

With that in mind, we’ve pulled together some tips for preventing ankle injuries.

The right shoe for the job

One of the biggest causes of ankle injuries is poor footwear choices. If you walk into any athletic shoe store, you’ll find a wide range of shoes specifically designed for certain activities. 

While we’re not suggesting you buy a different shoe for every sport, be sure to wear a shoe that addresses the needs of your particular activity. For example, a gym shoe won’t provide the grip you need to hit that long drive on the golf course. And, if you enjoy a pickup game of basketball, wearing shoes that provide added support for your ankles is key to offsetting the jumping, running, and pivoting.

If the shoe fits

While wearing the right athletic shoe for your activity is paramount, so is the fit. It does you no good to have the right shoe for the job if your feet and ankles are swimming around inside the shoes unsupported.

When you’re buying shoes, spend a little time walking around with them in the store, with the socks you’d normally wear when you play sports. And be sure to tighten the laces properly — wearing untied shoes is a recipe for ankle injuries.

Added support

Another great way to avoid ankle injuries is to ensure your feet are properly balanced through custom orthotics. Your feet and ankles are tasked with supporting your movements. If there’s an imbalance, it means certain areas of your feet and ankles are working harder than others. With custom orthotics, we rebalance your feet to spread out the workload more evenly.

Strengthen and stretch for protection

Another technique for warding off ankle injuries is to strengthen and stretch the soft tissues inside your ankle. Simple exercises like placing the front of your foot on a block and performing ankle lifts can go a long way toward beefing up the muscles in these joints. Fully stretching your ankles by circling your foot or even spelling the alphabet with your toes is also helpful.

A great option is Bosu® balance balls, which work all the microtissues in your ankles as you try and maintain stability.

If you’d like to learn more about preventing ankle injuries, please contact one of our locations in Hermitage, Brentwood, Nashville, Mount Juliet, Gallatin, Waverly, Smyrna, Murfreesboro, or Lebanon, Tennessee.

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