What You Should Know About Ankle Sports Injury

Ankle injuries are some of the most common injuries that sports people experience. This injury occurs when the foot turns or twists beyond its normal movement range and this causes the ankle ligaments to overstretch and tear. Research shows that 23,000 Americans sprain their ankles every day. Additionally, out of all sports injuries, 45% of these are ankle sprains and basketball players are the most affected.


Ankle sprains are caused by a sudden roll or twist of the ankle. The ligaments found on the sides of the ankles can tear or stretch. Most ankle sprains will occur when there is a sudden downward or inward movement of the foot stretching the ligaments on the outer side of the ankle. Ligaments above the ankle bone or inner or medial side of the ankle can also be sprained, however, they are injured less frequently.

Anle sprains will usually take about 2 weeks to two months to heal completely. The ankle will feel much better after a few weeks and will be fully strengthened after a few months. However, an ankle ligament that is severely sprained will take about 9 months to one year to heal.


When your ankle twists, there will be a loud crack or snap, followed by sudden pain. Bruising and swelling can also develop afterward. Depending on the severity of the sprain and individual may have difficulties walking. A sports physical will examine the injured ankle and food for areas of pain, swelling, and loose joint. When an athlete has challenges walking or bones that are extremely sore in a certain area, an x-ray can be done to check for broken bones.


A simple sprain of the ankle can be treated using anti-inflammatory medicine, ice, and supporting the ankle with a walking boot, ankle brace, or a wrap. Crutches may also be necessary to avoid exerting unnecessary weight on the injured area. Exercise is also an important part for physical therapy treatment centreville va, for example, exercises that work on the joints, strengthen the ankle, and rebuilds balance. As your ankle heals, functional exercises can be started to aid in preventing future ankle problems.

Risk Factors

Individuals who are at a high risk of spraining their ankles include athletes who are in sports that necessitate quick changes in direction. Pivoting and cutting athletes, for example, those involved in football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, and tennis. Athletes that have had ankle sprains in the past are also at a high risk. Furthermore, sportsmen and women who return to their sports too quickly after an injury are likely to injure their ankle. Additionally, military personnel, younger athletes, and individuals who jump or run frequently or change their directions quickly when performing athletic activities are also at risk.

A physical therapist can help individuals who suffer from ankle sprains to reduce their pain, regain motion, balance, and strength to be able to return to their normal activity level and avoid future injury. Athletes can return to playing their favorite sport once they are able to do functional exercises such as cutting, jumping and running without feeling any pain, during and after a workout.

An athlete who has experienced ankle sprains in the past has a higher chance of injuring it again, particularly 6 to 12 months after the injury. You can protect your ankle against injury by supporting the ankle while engaging in sports using an ankle brace. Exercise training can also help to focus on balance and excellent muscle control.

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