Ankle sprains are responsible for a large proportion of games missed in AFL, Soccer and Netball just to name a few. As Winter sport commences it is important to know how to avoid and manage this type of injury.
Prevention is particularly important for anyone who plays in a dynamic team sport that involves twists, turning and change of direction particularly if you have previously had an ankle sprain injury. Here are a few things you and your physio can work on:
• Specific warm up targeted to the physical demands of your sport (before both training and game day)
• Specific training and exercises to build strength and stability around joints in specific plains of motion.
• Movement analysis (to identify any areas of weakness so your training is more targeted to the demands of your sport and your needs.)
• Good technique and efficient movement during competition.
If I do have an ankle sprain, what do I do next?
Despite our best efforts, injuries do happen in sport. But when an ankle sprain arises it is important to manage correctly from the get-go to avoid future complications.
• Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation is the standard management in the first 48hours after an ankle sprain. (R.I.C.E)
• Seek out a medical professional if you are worried about potential serious injury. (a Physio can also point you in the right direction if you are unsure and need advice)
• Rehab program beginning with simple range of motion and strength exercise leading all the way back into sports specific agility and running drills to get you ready for game day.
• Return to sport after proper rehab program has been completed with protective bracing or tape.
Is tape or a fitted brace better?
In the initial stages of return to training and sport rigid ankle tape will be your best strategy for preventing another sprain. Properly applied it can hold for 1-2 days.
In the long term, and after the injured area has become strong again, the risk is still present. A fabric brace (properly fitted) can provide good support. They are a quicker and more cost-effective long term option than rigid tape and more kind on sensitive skin.
Dynamic Motion Physiotherapy Galston | 6/362 Galston Rd, Galston Phone: 9653 3123 | dmphysio.com.au