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Score With Strong Ankles: Four Ways to Prevent a Sprain

Being on a high profile team such as Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish brings high reward but can also bring high risks, especially with foot and ankle health. Junior Sheldon Day, defensive lineman, knows this well as he battled a high ankle sprain for most of 2013. He’s back in, strong, and ready to score while helping his teammates on the defensive line. Now, he will just have to be extra cautious and careful to protect against a secondary sprain. A sprain can happen in an instant. Whether or not you’re an athlete, you can keep your ankles strong and prevent ankle sprains with these four easy tips.

First, weak muscles around the ankle joint need to be strengthened so they can withstand the stresses put on the ankle. A really easy strengthening exercise that you can do while watching TV is wrap a towel around the bottom of your foot and pull tight so there is some resistance. Move your ankle up and down, in and out several times and then switch feet. Do this a few times a day.

Second, improve your balance so your body is more capable of controlling itself. Do this by balancing on one foot. Work up to a few minutes and then progress to standing with your eyes closed and on a pillow for extra challenge.

Third, be prepared for whatever activity you are going to do. This involves wearing appropriate footwear that fit your feet and building up your fitness level slowly if you are new to a sport. Playing within your current limitations will greatly help avoid injury.

Last, if you have already lived through a sprain, it may be helpful to use a brace or taping for extra protection and ankle stability. If your ankle feels weak, take a break and seek further treatment before another injury occurs that could be worse than the first.

If you are concerned about ankle instability, have a sprain that needs treatment, or sustained an injury that is not healing well, don’t wait to seek treatment. Contact Dr. Kevin Powers at our office in Bloomington, IN, by calling (812) 333-4422.

Photo Credit: Samarttiw via

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