Preventing Ankle Injuries – Tips for Runners and Athletes

ankle injury blog

As a runner or athlete, your ankles are among your most valuable assets. They bear the brunt of every step, pivot, and leap, making them susceptible to injuries that can disrupt your training and performance. But fear not – with the right knowledge and strategies, you can significantly reduce the risk of ankle injuries and continue to excel in your sport. In this comprehensive blog post, brought to you by Runners’ Edge PT, we’ll explore effective techniques and tips for preventing ankle injuries. Plus, don’t miss our call to action at the end to take the next step toward injury prevention and peak performance.

Understanding Ankle Injuries

Before we delve into prevention strategies, let’s briefly understand the types of ankle injuries that runners and athletes often face:

     

      1. Ankle Sprains: These occur when the ligaments around the ankle are stretched or torn, usually due to sudden twists or rolls.
        Take a look inside a physical therapy session at Runners’ Edge with a client with an ankle sprain HERE

      1. Achilles Tendonitis: Overuse of the Achilles tendon can lead to inflammation and pain in the back of the ankle.

      1. Peroneal Tendon Injuries: Injuries to the peroneal tendons, which stabilize the ankle, can result from repetitive stress.

      1. Ankle Fractures: In severe cases, ankle injuries can involve fractures of the bones in the ankle joint.

    Now, let’s move on to our tips for preventing these injuries:

    Tip 1: Invest in Proper Footwear

    Choosing the right running shoes or sports-specific footwear is paramount. Ensure that your shoes provide adequate support, cushioning, and stability. Consider consulting with a professional for a gait analysis to identify the best shoe for your unique biomechanics.

    Tip 2: Warm-Up and Mobility Drills

    Never underestimate the importance of warming up before your workouts or competitions. Once you are warm, add in dynamic stretching and mobility exercises to prepare your ankles and muscles for the demands of your activity. 

    Get specific warm up drills by our sports physical therapists HERE

    Tip 3: Strengthen Your Ankles

    Incorporate strength training exercises into your routine to build ankle stability and muscle strength. Focus on exercises that target the foot, calves, shin muscles, and ankle stabilizers.

    Tip 4: Balance and Proprioception Training

    Improve your balance and proprioception through exercises like standing on one leg or using balance boards. These activities enhance ankle stability and reduce the risk of sprains.

    Tip 5: Gradual Progression

    Avoid overtraining and sudden increases in intensity. Gradually progress your workouts and mileage to give your ankles time to adapt to the demands placed on them.

    Tip 6: Mind Your Terrain

    Pay attention to the surfaces you train on. Uneven or unstable terrain can increase the risk of ankle injuries. Be cautious when running or playing sports on unfamiliar surfaces.

    Tip 7: Listen to Your Body

    Don’t ignore pain or discomfort in your ankles. If you experience persistent pain, reduce your training intensity and consult a healthcare professional for evaluation.

    Your journey to preventing ankle injuries begins with proactive measures. If you’re looking for personalized guidance, injury prevention strategies, or rehabilitation support, contact us at (907) 929 9009 today. Our team of experts is dedicated to helping you stay injury-free and reach your peak performance. Take the next step toward a stronger, injury-resistant athletic journey with Runners’ Edge PT by your side. Your ankles deserve the best care possible.

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