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Easy Tips to Avoid Ankle Injuries

A ‘rolled’ or sprained ankle is one of the most common injuries in and out of the sporting arena. However, the worst part is that if you have gone through this agony in the past, there is an 80% chance you will encounter this injury again (according to recent studies).

Our team Insync Physiotherapy have noted that each ankle injury (upon assessment) had similar aspects in common. Each injury lacked one of the following – Static Postural Control, Flexibility, Bio-mechanical Strength and/or Conditioning.

Although this all sounds daunting, ankle conditioning can actually be very rewarding. Simple balance exercises can really challenge you and help improve your ankle strength and reduce future injury. Combined with strength, flexibility, and heightened biomechanics, you can help your body remain active in order to meet your personal fitness goals.

Before we investigate how to reduce injury, it is crucial to understand how these injuries happen. The answer is simple – individuals are not trained at a level that is satisfactory for the stress they are putting their ankles under in order to perform specific functions relative to their chosen activity or sport. It is essential to train your ankle to specifically perform what it is you need it to do for your given activity. Whether it be for a crossfit session, football, tennis, combat sport or a simple run, if you can utilise these four techniques, you will better prepare your ankle and reduce your risk of injury:

1.     Static Postural Control; also known as Proprioception. At Insync Physiotherapy, we utilise the Star Excursion Balance Test to assess your postural advancements in order to help improve your ankle strength and overall performance. Be sure to contact our team today for an assessment.

2.     Flexibility: reduced flexibility can lead to a severe ankle injury. Our Knee to Wall –  Lunge Test will help improve your flexibility and help significantly reduce your risk of an ankle injury. Furthermore, simple calf stretches and self-releases will help increase the flexibility of your gastrocnemius (calf) muscle and thus further reducing your risk of injury whilst strengthening these crucial muscles.  Be sure to contact our team today for an assessment.

3.     Biomechanical strength: Is basically combining all components. To achieve peak performance you must be able to have sufficient static postural control to lay the foundations that are required to allow the body to adapt to your activity of choice (dynamic movement). You decrease your fatigue- an ability the more you subject your body/body parts to the desired movements. Most importantly, what good is it if your ankle joint is designed to function in certain positions but you can’t get to those points due to tightness!? Our team at Insync Physiotherapy can help you build the strength you need to achieve peak performance. Be sure to contact our team today.

4.      Conditioning: If you are not participating in a regular moderate activity you are not conditioned to undertake the activity of your choosing. It is crucial that your ankle is conditioned for what it will be required to do in your chosen activity. Any structures responsible for arch support become fatigued and will fail in their role to prevent instability moments. Our team at Insync Physiotherapy can help you achieve the level of conditioning you need to perform. Be sure to contact our team today.

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The key to ankle health is to be proactive rather than reactive. If you are an active person and you genuinely care about your health and well-being and would like to reduce your risk of a future ankle injury, we encourage you to consider our four crucial aspects highlighted above.  Be sure to contact our team of specialists as we are ready to test and learn about your ankles so that together we can help build and strengthen these to improve performance and reduce your risk of injury. You can contact our practice on (02) 7226 3432 or book an appointment online.

Thanks for reading,
Insync Physiotherapy Team