Play Sports?: 5 Tips To Protect Your Feet And Ankles From Injury
If you are a sports enthusiast, your ankles and feet have many more opportunities for injury than those of the average person. Nevertheless, there are ways to help safeguard your feet and ankles as you participate in sports. Although no precaution is foolproof, these tips should be helpful:
Warm your muscles.
If you are going to be involved in an intense activity, warm up the muscles of your ankles and feet before you begin. High-impact activities can be particularly hard on the feet and ankles, and if those muscles are cold, they are less pliable and more prone to injury. You can warm up your ankles and feet by lightly jogging or marching in place for a few minutes.
Don't stretch cold muscles excessively, and avoid bouncy movements during your stretches. You can quickly overextend tight muscle fibers.
Ankles and feet are inadvertently stretched during leg stretches. For instance, when you stretch your calf muscle by pulling your toes toward you, your foot and ankle muscles will also be elongated.
Choose your activity site wisely.
Running on uneven surfaces can increase your likelihood of a foot or ankle injury. Ankle sprains occur when a ligament that stabilizes the ankle joint is torn.
Designated running tracks are often smoother and less inconsistent than off-road trails that are filled with tree roots and holes. In addition, although concrete may be a smooth surface, it creates more stress on your ankles and feet due to the hardness of the material. Smooth dirt or grass is a softer alternative.
Buy great shoes.
Select an athletic shoe with good support and stability. Arch support is especially important if you have flat feet or low arches. In addition, the outer heel of your shoe should be wide enough to promote balance and stability. Some people may choose cross-training athletic shoes when they participate in multiple sports. However, sport-specific shoes may offer the most protection from injury.
Take a rest.
Rest is important for muscle recovery. Feet and ankles that are repeatedly stressed without a break can incur injuries from overuse. The Achilles tendon, which connects the leg muscle to the heel, can become inflamed or torn when overused.
If you enjoy sports, take precautions to protect your feet and ankles as you play. In addition, don't overdo it. Listen to your body and rest when you need to. If you are already experiencing foot and ankle pain, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist like one from Advanced Foot & Ankle Center of Palatine to have your injuries assessed.