Ankle Sprain: HOW to AVOID spraining an ankle by doing just these 3 things - Paul Gough Physio Rooms

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Ankle Sprain: HOW to AVOID spraining an ankle by doing just these 3 things

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“It happens”!…

You’re in Brazil, your team scores, you’re jumping around celebrating with all of your friends who are just as happy as you, but you’re the only one who doesn’t see the water bottle left lying on the ground that causes you to slip.

And dislocate your ankle doing it. “Ouch”!

But I can’t imagine it’s ever happened to too many Physios who are on duty during world cup finals like it did to England Physio Gary Lewin last Saturday night.

Tt seems the England back room staff don’t have much look when it comes to steering clear of injury. It was only two years ago that Ray Clemence was flown home early from a tournament having snapped his Achilles tendon in a warm up with his goal keepers.

And so the list of unexpected injuries or with drawls from big games goes on:

Mario Balotelli – when playing for Man City he once left the field due to an “allergic reaction” to the pitch. Paul Gascoigne once missed an England game due to a groin strain he suffered when getting out of bed, Kevin Kyle missed a few games after having a pan of boiling hot water poured over his “private area” by his son, the night before a game and Rio Ferdinand once admitted to pulling his back after leaving over to pick up a TV remote.

As a Private Physio who used to work in Professional football, I get to hear lots of weird and wonderful ways that people get injured. They range from failing to warm up properly, applying ice instead or heat BEFORE a game, “bizzare bedroom antics” and even something as innocuous as leaning forward to empty a dishwasher or pick up a wine glass.

But if you had to pin me to the number one reason why most seemingly “innocuous” injuries actually happen, I’d say it would be down to one thing: Flexibility.

Or a LACK of it. Because for all of the injuries that could happen to you whilst you’re playing sport or just out and about enjoying life, they’re nearly always linked to a lack of flexibility. As in, an inability of your joints or muscles to stretch far enough before they get torn!

Even Gary Lewin’s injury is easier to understand when you know that the ligaments in his ankle, they got stretched as he slipped, and what ideally would have happened is that those same ligaments would have had enough elasticity to stretch as he was falling. But because the ligaments didn’t, his whole ankle joint popped out of place and likely that the ligaments snapped completely as it did.

Not nice and certainly very painful And I’m not even suggesting that it could have been avoided, sometimes with all the will in the world injuries can and just do happen. But to lower the risk of seemingly innocuous injuries from happening to you, work on your flexibility and add in some balance exercises – particularly if you’re aged 40+.

Do that on a balance ball, do yoga and pilates and stretch for 7 minutes at the beginning and end of every day and you’ll be in a much better position to slip on a water bottle and NOT dislocate an ankle.

More sports injury tips here:


Paul Gough
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