4 Ways to Protect Ankle from Sprain

If you’ve ever had a sprained ankle you know just how painful they can be. Sometimes they can feel as if you’ve broken bones or torn ligaments but all you’ve done is twisted, or sprained, the ankle severely. Once your ankle sprain has finally healed, you may be susceptible to reinjuring the ankle if you do not take a few precautions. Here are four ways you can protect your ankle from reinjuring it after you’ve healed from the ankle sprain itself.

Wear a Brace

If it’s only been a few weeks since you hurt your ankle, wearing a brace for a month or two while you’re exercising is a good idea. It will help to support the ankle during vigorous activity that might otherwise reinjure you. The semi-rigid type brace is best for right after you’ve injured yourself and you’re healed. It will offer the necessary support and protection during running, walking and other exercise. There are also other wraps and braces you can use to support your ankle during the time of gaining your strength back such as air filled or lace braces.

Balance Work

Work on balancing on your foot that you injured. By practicing balancing exercises on that leg it helps to strengthen the leg and ankle to protect it from injury. Start out by only balancing on the leg for around 30 seconds or so. You can slowly increase this time as you gain more strength in the muscles. This should be done no less than three times a day and can be done more if you’re ankle is holding up to it.

Heel Raises

You should also perform heel raises to help strengthen the ankle. You can do these from a seated position or you can do them standing. Just as with the balance work, start by doing the heel raises and stretches for at least 30 seconds at a time and increase to three minutes or more as you gradually hold it longer.

Other Exercises

Other types of exercises you can use to help prevent an ankle sprain are toe raises, ankle circles and using steps to gain strength back in the ankle that was injured. You can also practice in and out motions where you turn your ankle as far in as you can and hold then turn it back out and hold. Adding in resistance to the in and out motion can also help you build strength back in the joint and ligaments.

These are just a few ways to help you gain strength and protect yourself from having another sprained ankle.

How To Recover From A Sprained Ankle Fast

Although a sprained ankle may not be a major injury, it could be quite a hindrance to daily activities and of course, sports would not be possible without further injuring the ankle. Depending on the severity of the sprain, recovery could take from 6 weeks to up to 4 months. However, with adequate rest, proper treatment and rehabilitation, the healing process could be sped up significantly.


Symptoms

Typically, an ankle sprain can be identified by the pain, swelling, stiffness and instability. A minor sprain involves a stretched ligament with slight tearing. The pain would not be too intense and it would still be possible to walk with a limp. If the ligament is completely torn, the ankle joint would lose its function and stability. Intense pain would be felt initially but it would wear off after a while till no pain is felt. Swelling would be extensive.


Treatment

R.I.C.E:

As with many other kinds of leg and joint injuries, the R.I.C.E (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) method is the first form of treatment to contain the injury and reduce pain and swelling.

  • Rest: Avoid weight bearing as much as possible to allow the ankle to heal and prevent further aggravation of the injury.
  • Ice: Using an ice pack or ice wrap, apply it on the injured area for 10-15 minutes several times a day. This would reduce the pain and swelling.
  • Compression: After icing, use bandage to wrap around the injured area snugly. Make sure that it is not too tight that it cuts off blood circulation.
  • Elevation: Raise your leg above the heart level to further reduce the swelling.

These four steps should be repeated at least three times a day or until the pain and swelling subside.


Medication:

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) can help to reduce the inflammation and reduce pain and swelling.

 

Rehabilitation

Keeping your ankle immobilized for too long can result in stiffness. Always wriggle your toes or move your ankle lightly whenever possible to keep it flexible. Once the injury has stabilized and is recovering, you can start rehabilitation exercises to restore its motion, strength and balance.

Light Exercises:

You can start off with sitting on a chair and moving your ankle up and down, followed by rolling your foot inward and outward. If these movements are bearable, proceed to stand with legs at hip width apart and lift up one foot at ankle level. Change to the other foot and repeat the reps.

Toe Raises:

Slowly lift your feet off the ground on a tiptoe and hold the position before lowering it back down. Use a support if necessary.

Calf Stretch:

With a wall for support, lean forward with one leg bent and reach out for the wall with both hands at head level. The other leg should be kept straight and feeling the stretch along the calf. Do the same with the other leg.

4 Common Injuries Incurred From Rugby

Rugby is a high impact and physically demanding sport that has a high risk of injuries due to its high contact nature. Being a competitive sport, it places a high emphasis on the physical attributes of the player and thus the increase in orthopaedic injuries. There are some parts of the body that is at a higher risk namely the head, shoulders and knees. Most injuries occurs during competitive matches especially during the tackling phase. Let’s take a look at some of the common injuries incurred from rugby.

Hamstring injuries

Due to the competitive nature of rugby, players need to be extremely fit and in order to achieve that goal, frequent work out and training sessions are conducted. This will lead to an increase in muscle overuse and increase the chances of limb injuries such as hamstring strains. Also, numerous sprinting activities are required throughout the match and sudden changes in direction will also occur. This will cause the hamstring muscles to be stretched beyond its intended limits and cause tears in the hamstring which are medically known as hamstring strains.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear

The anterior cruciate ligament is one of the four major ligaments in the knee and it is responsible any movements in the knee joint and stability. During rugby, sudden changes in direction at high speeds will often occur and if the knee is still firmly stuck to the ground and a direction change is initiated, it will cause the ACL to snap. Moreover, the ACL is part of the terrible triad in the knee that consists of the ACL, MCL and meniscus. Very often during an ACL tear, the MCL and meniscus will be torn as well.

Head injuries

Rugby players are at a high risk of head injuries ranging from superficial cuts and grazes to serious lacerations. Although a protective headgear is compulsory during a rugby match, many players break their nose or suffer from concussion during high speed tackles. The protective headgear is effective against superficial injuries but it cannot really help much in serious injuries.

Sprained ankle

Ankle sprains are commonly sporting injuries suffered by many rugby players. Ankle sprains occur when the ligaments surrounding the ankles are torn due to a sudden twisting motion by the ankle. Ligament tears will cause internal bleeding and this will lead to a swollen ankle after a few hours and it is extremely painful and causes mobility issues.

Rugby is a high contact and high impact sport that carries a certain risk of injury to it. Although there are protective gears that players must wear during the match, they are often effective only against superficial injuries.