Ankle Injuries: Causes and Treaments
Ankle injuries are one of the most common injuries in netball. Damage to the ligaments from an ankle injury can range from a minor sprain, requiring maybe only a week off training and treatment from a physiotherapist and exercises, to a severe ligament sprain resulting in not being able to play for 6-10 weeks and months of rehabilitation.
There are a variety of factors that can increase the risk of ankle injuries. A history of ankle injury, not stretching appropriately prior to a game and wearing shoes with too much cushioning at the heels which decreases the body’s awareness as to where the foot is. The explosive nature of the game with pivots, dodging, landing, high speed and playing close to your opponent means ankle injuries for netballers are high.
We at Northern Storm feel it is very important to take steps to decrease the chance of an ankle injury and the severity of ankle injuries.
Studies over the past few years have shown that if there has been a history of ankle injuries, wearing an ankle brace or wearing sports tape decreases the risk of ankle sprains. This works during running and also when landing on another player’s foot, which are common ankle injuries in netball. There is no evidence showing that wearing an ankle brace shifts the injury to another part of the body such as the knee. Taping and braces add extra support and act as a helper to your ankles protective mechanism, and will not cause any weakness.
When applying tape, always ask a physiotherapist to show you how to put the tape on properly. If the tape isn’t put on correctly, it becomes ineffective and ankle injuries will not be prevented. Different type of taping depends on foot size and previous ankle injuries. For taping to be effective, it must be applied correctly so that it allows normal movement while at the same time restricting unwanted excessive movement.
Click here to watch a video on how to strap your ankle before any physical activity.