As the weather warms, amateur Michael Jordans, Alex Rodriguezes and Maria Sharapovas hit the courts, fields and driveways nationwide, with sunny days beckoning them to get out and play.
But as the weather ushers in such sports as basketball, baseball, tennis and soccer, it brings with it ankle sprain season for both professionals and weekend warriors, alike.
Ankle sprains are one of the most common sports injuries. Among NCAA basketball players, for instance, ankle sprains rank as the number one injury suffered by both men and women.
Anyone who injures an ankle requires prompt medical treatment, whether it’s the first sprain or the fifth. Rest, ice, compression and elevation (R.I.C.E.) can reduce swelling and pain until the ankle can be evaluated and treated by a foot and ankle surgeon. Also, remember, a sprain may not always be a sprain; the ankle could be fractured.
Many athletes develop chronic ankle instability from repeated ankle sprains, causing their ankle to frequently “give way.” In some cases these players may require surgery. Proper rehabilitation of an ankle sprain reduces the likelihood of developing chronic ankle instability.
Players of all skill levels can reduce the risk for ankle sprains by following three tips from footphysicians.com, the consumer web site of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, among them: performing warm-up stretches and exercises before playing sports; wearing the right shoes for the sport. (For example, don’t wear running shoes for sports that involve a lot of side-to-side movement, such as tennis and basketball.); and wearing an ankle brace if you’re recovering from an injury or have repeatedly sprained your ankle.
info: Visit www.footphysicians.com for more information on ankle sprains, fractures, peroneal tendon injuries and chronic ankle instability.