Most people don’t think about how important their ankles are until they twist them and end up on crutches, hobbling to and from the bathroom in the middle of the night because they can’t bear the pain of walking on them. Ankle injuries are common and can be difficult to avoid because they’re often caused by sudden movements or twisting the ankle in an awkward direction. Not only does ankle injury cause pain, but it also keeps you out of work and living your life. Specialists like https://www.orthofootmd.com/ankle-sprain-and-fracture/ affirm that although you can’t entirely prevent these injuries from happening, there are ways to lessen your risk of experiencing one, which we’ll discuss below:
1) Have the right shoes
Wearing shoes that don’t fit properly or wear out quickly can damage your ankles and put you at a higher risk for injury. Quality footwear is important; check out customer reviews of various shoes before you buy to find out which brands are most reliable and comfortable. If possible, try on multiple pairs in different sizes and styles—you want shoes that fit well and feel good. Choose a sturdy pair of hiking boots or running sneakers that offer plenty of ankle support as an added layer of protection from injuries. If you often hike or trek, get knee sleeve too. It will provide extra support and stability to knees that reduce chances of injuries to your ankles and knees.
2) Strengthen your ankle muscles
Regular exercise improves flexibility and keeps muscles strong. A strong muscle is less likely to be injured, so make sure you include ankle-strengthening exercises in your fitness routine. Stronger muscles will also improve your balance. With better balance, you are less likely to fall—and if you do fall, it won’t be as big of a deal! Exercise also reduces stress and anxiety that can lead to accidents by helping you relax.
3) Don’t overuse them
Overworking your ankles can cause them to weaken and eventually tear, meaning you need more time off from training. To protect your ankles from injuries, make sure you’re giving them a rest in between workouts—and for best results, don’t overuse them during each workout either. For example, if you’re performing an exercise that requires high levels of ankle flexibility or strength (like single-leg squats), limit yourself to just one set of 10 repetitions per leg. This will allow your body enough time to recover while still helping you achieve your fitness goals.
4) Use proper form
Remember that in sports, injuries are often due to improper form. If you’re working out and you feel pain in a joint or muscle, don’t ignore it. Stop what you’re doing and take a moment to assess your form. With some tweaking of your technique, you should be able to get back on track and continue with your workout session without any more discomfort or pain. And if you do experience an injury during exercise, make sure to stop immediately and seek medical attention. It’s always better to err on the side of caution when dealing with an injury—even if it turns out that nothing is wrong!
5) Wear supportive, low heel shoes
This one is for the ladies! While high heels can be an attractive fashion statement, they can also cause damage to your ankles and feet. The less of your body weight you carry in these shoes, the more pressure you put on these joints—leading to injury. And if you’re already suffering from ankle issues, it’s probably time to ditch those high heels. Most experts recommend wearing shoes with a small heel or wedge that puts your foot at just an 8°-12° angle. Wearing shoes with low, flat heels can prevent ankle injuries and reduce knee pain, too. If you do choose a pair of high heels, opt for wedges instead of stilettos.
In a nutshell, ankle injuries are no joke. They can sideline you for weeks or months and keep you from reaching your fitness goals. That’s why it’s important to take preventative measures like those outlined above—and why it’s equally important to see a doctor if you suspect an ankle injury. For Singapore residents, it’s worth visiting a specialist like OrthoFoot MD; they’ll not only treat but also advise on all ankle-related issues.