From a simple sprain or strain to a more serious fracture, your ankle is susceptible to suffering several different types of bone, tendon, or ligament damage. If you have ever twisted your ankle while running or even walking on an uneven surface, you know how painful and potentially debilitating an ankle injury can be.
Follow these simple tips to avoid injuring your ankle.
Wear Supportive Shoes
Choose shoes that fit properly and are made specifically for your preferred sport or exercise. For example, if you have flat feet, choose a shoe that gives you plenty of arch support and support at the front of your feet. If you have higher arches, a cushioned shoe that provides support to your arches will help stabilize your feet.
Runners should choose a more lightweight shoe that provides more support and cushioning. If you are an avid walker, consider a stiffer shoe. Whichever type of shoe you choose, make sure it has adequate ankle support and fits perfectly.
Avid runners, walkers, or individuals who play sports several days a week should replace their shoes often. Replace your shoes if the soles are wearing unevenly, which can leave you vulnerable to twisting your ankle.
Stretch Your Ankles Before and After Playing Sports or Exercising
Proper stretching during your pre-workout warm-up and post-exercise cool down can help increase your ankles' flexibility and strength, both of which can prevent ankle injuries. Even sitting on a chair and turning your ankles in circles will help warm them up before you run or play a sport.
Ask your podiatrist about any additional exercises that will help provide extra support to your feet and ankles. Your doctor may recommend wearing an ankle brace if your ankles are weak or you have suffered ankle injuries in the past.
Pay Attention to Your Terrain
Finally, one of the simplest ways to protect your ankles is to pay attention to your surroundings and avoid situations that leave your ankle vulnerable to a sprain or fracture. For example, if you are hiking, stay on the path and avoid rocky areas. Keep the floors inside your house clean to avoid accidentally tripping or twisting your ankles. Fill any small holes in your backyard to keep you from inadvertently losing your footing.
Ankle sprains and fractures are common injuries that can be avoided. If you have any further questions about how to protect your feet and ankles from injury, don't hesitate to contact your foot and ankle specialist.