All types of sports and fitness activities come with some risk of injury. You don’t have to be a professional basketball player to end up with damage to your ankles. And in many cases, amateurs and occasional athletes can run risk of injury at a much higher rate.
One reason is inadequate warm up and practice routines. But some people also work out and train harder than their body is capable of.
If you had to define one of the most common sports-related injuries, it would probably have to do with the ankles. Our ankles have to deal with a lot of strain and pressure. Because they help us hold up our weight and we depend on them for movement when we’re active, it’s easier to do something to injure them than any other part of the body.
Most Common Ankle Injuries
From sprains to fractures, there are several ways that our ankles can be injured. Here are just some of the most common ones our team here at Strive Challenge have encountered:
- Ankle sprain: Most active people will sprain their ankle at some point. From landing a jump wrong to stopping a ball that has been kicked with full force, there are many ways that an ankle can get sprained. Sometimes a sprain will be so mild that it doesn’t affect your walking or everyday activities.
At other times, it may be a challenge to even walk for a few days and takes a long time to heal.
- Fractured bones in our ankles: Similarly to how you can get an ankle sprain, a fractured ankle can also happen while doing a simple activity. Fractured ankles often happen to those who play more high-impact sports, especially due to landing or being hit very hard.
A Jones fracture or a Malleolus fracture are two very common injuries that often need surgical intervention for you to get better.
- Achilles tendon issues: When you have a tendon rupture, it can be very painful. The Achilles tendon is what connects your lower leg muscles to the bone on your foot, in the heel area. This type of injury often happens to those who play sports or do activities that require quick transitions. It tends to happen when you’re stationary and quickly change positions.
Tips for Treatment
If you play any kind of sport, you must know how difficult it is to avoid these types of injuries. While you may wear great shoes and exercise caution, when you’re in the heat of the game, it’s a challenge to be careful for your ankles. If you have already had ankle injuries, you may be nervous about getting back in the game.
The good news is that with the proper treatment, you can play your favorite sports again. You just need to make sure that you allow the right recovery time and take care of yourself while your ankle is healing. The following are a few ways that you can get treated for Achilles tendon ruptures, ankle fractures, and ankle sprains:
- Rest: If you have only sprained your ankle lightly but just enough to feel some pain when walking, take some time to rest and stay off of it. Use ice and keep it elevated when possible, so that the swelling can decrease. Walking on a sprained ankle can cause worse issues along the way and is painful. If it’s not too serious, just try to stay off of it for a few days.
- Compression bandages: If you have a more serious sprain or a lot of pain but you have to walk, make sure to use compression bandages. They can help you to get around with less pain and help you avoid injuring your ankle even further.
- Medication: If you have a hard time with pain, as many do, take painkillers to take the edge off of your sprained ankle. If the swelling is taking a while to go down, consider taking anti-inflammatory medication to speed up the process.
- Surgery: Surgery should be a last resort but it is often necessary for those who have badly torn ligaments or for those who have broken their ankle bones. It may be required for those who have ankle sprains, depending on the location and severity of the sprain.
- Ankle braces: Ankle protection braces can be worn after ankle sprains or when you’re healing from a fractured foot. They may often be worn by those who have weak ankles from multiple injuries and who want to stay safe from new ones. You don’t want to wear them all the time but they can be helpful every now and then.
Ankle sprains are certainly the most common sport injury and they are also relatively easy to fix, depending on the severity and location of the torn ligament. More serious ankle injuries may require surgery and time away from your favorite sport.
If the doctor orders you to rest and take a break from exercise and high-impact activity, listen to them. After all, you want to get back out there, right? If you try to play on an injured foot, you could end up with serious problems that keep you from ever being able to play again. Stay safe and get your rest when injured!