Did you know that research shows that around 25,000 Americans suffer an ankle sprain on a daily basis and that 50 percent of sports injuries are ankle sprains? In addition, the Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons report that more than 40 percent of sports-related ankle sprains occur while basketball is being played. These statistics show that there is a high risk of suffering an ankle sprain, resulting in you sitting on the sidelines of a game if you aren't careful. So, to ensure that you are playing the entire season at your finest, here are a few tips that will help keep your ankles in tip-top shape:
Tip #1: Make Sure You're Always Wearing Adequate Footwear.
One of the first steps in keeping your ankles safe is choosing the right footwear for the sport. You don't want to wear an old pair of sneakers or a pair of tennis shoes that are too loose or too tight. You also don't want to play ball in sandals or flip-flops. Otherwise, you could just be asking for trouble. Instead, you need to invest in a pair of quality basketball shoes that offer ankle and foot support and fit comfortably yet snug.
Tip #2: Perform Strength Exercises Regularly.
Since basketball uses a significant amount of muscles, even though it isn't all of your muscles, you need to stay in shape. One great way to do this is by performing strength training exercises during your regular work-outs. A main focus should be on routines that focus on strengthening your ankles. These exercises help to ensure that your ankles and feet are able to support you in the event that you land wrong as you are coming down from a jump or slam dunk.
Tip #3: Consider Investing in and Wearing an Ankle Brace.
Though you may be performing ankle strengthening exercises, it doesn't mean that your ankles are going to respond to them immediately or even at all. If your ankle doesn't feel strong, it may be a good idea to consider wearing a brace or taping up your ankle during practices and games. This will give you some additional stability that will come in handy while playing and can keep you in the game rather than on the sidelines.
These three tips will help you avoid ankle injuries while playing basketball. For more advice, answers to any questions or concerns that you may have, or to get a check-up and see if your ankles are ready for the season, schedule an appointment with your local podiatrist.