An ankle fracture is a fairly common injury in the sports world. We speak in general terms since it is one of the most frequent injuries. In particular, it involves a whole series of disciplines in which this articulation is particularly stimulated and suffers for these continuous stresses.
Generally, ankle fracture occurs when one of the two main bones is partially or totally broken. We are talking about tibia and fibula, mainly, but in specific cases, the fracture can affect other areas (astragalus, tarsus, navicular …). At the same time, the ligaments that guarantee ankle stability can also be affected by the injury. Accidents due to ruptured Achilles tendon or tarsal tunnel are not uncommon.
The importance of certain phases of training, such as warm-up or final stretching, is often underestimated. These important steps should never be skipped since the athlete’s body is exposed to situations that require special attention. For this reason, it is essential to prepare the muscles and joints in the best way. Especially if you practice a high impact sport.
As you know, every sportsman tries to improve and go further, in every workout and in every race. However, this implies an increasing degree of physical demand and a greater chance of getting hurt. To avoid problems such as ankle fracture it is necessary to consider several crucial aspects, which we will show you in the following article.
How to prevent ankle fracture
Strong and healthy muscles
Let’s start by saying that the basis for avoiding an ankle fracture is having healthy and strong bones and muscles. In the first case, you will have to worry about taking sufficient amounts of calcium and vitamin D. In this way, in fact, your bones will be able to withstand more blows and accidental traumas. The same is true for muscles, which must be developed adequately, to prevent the risk of injury (tears, strains, etc.).
It is important to note that, under no circumstances, an athlete must risk their own health, performing exercises or maneuvers that are inadequate for his physical or technical level. Just to say the least, you can’t run without first learning to crawl. Every progress must be gradual, slow and favored by the right measure and common sense. Keep this in mind: most injuries are the result of presumption and superficiality.
Targeted exercises for initial warming
There are quite challenging warm-up exercises but designed specifically to prepare the body for competitive activity. However, we recommend that you perform some simple exercises to give ligament and joint mobility even before the warm-up.
For this reason, we show you several exercises that will help you prevent ankle fracture:
- Circular movements: sit on the floor with extended legs. Now cross them and make circular movements with the ankle. Do it clockwise about 15 times.
- Balanced on the tips: this exercise is often used by dancers. In addition to preventing ankle injuries, it strengthens the legs and gives them even more flexibility. Keep your legs wide at hip height and place your hands on your waist. Now, put yourself on tiptoe by lifting your heels off the floor.
Whether you are running or jumping sports, it is essential that the ankle always follow the straight line of the foot and that the weight is distributed over all fingers. Avoid that the weight is directed only on small fingers, it must be balanced in the center. Possible problems concerning the support surface (flat foot, valgus foot or pronate, …) could be solved by an orthopedist who will be able to prescribe suitable orthotics.
But let’s see other warm-up exercises to avoid ankle fracture:
- Do the alphabet: sit with your back straight and your knees extended. Now, move your ankles as if you wanted to write the letters of the alphabet.
- Heels on the floor: this exercise stretches and strengthens the Achilles tendon. It is more or less the opposite of standing on tiptoe. Lift your fingers as far as possible from the ground and keep yourself in balance for at least 10 seconds.
- The balance on one leg: while standing, take one leg and hold it on your chest and try to stay upright for 30 seconds. Probably, at first, it will be difficult to find the balance and it is possible that you start to tremble. This is a sign that your muscles are working: do your best to maintain this useful posture.
Dog upside down
Yoga includes a variety of incredible postures to keep the body in good condition. One of these is perfect for working on the ankle and avoiding possible fractures. This position is called Adho mukha svanasana (in Italian “cane a testa in often do “). It is used to revitalize the body and improve blood flow.
To do this yoga position, you will have to leave standing. Bring your head and arms down, trying to touch your toes with your hands. Slowly, gradually, spread arms and legs in the opposite direction. The goal is to create an inverted “V” shape, just like in the picture you see above.
Avoiding an ankle fracture means not feeling pain and not losing precious time to work out. The exercises that we have proposed in this article are preparatory and will strengthen the entire ankle area, but not only. In the event that you experience pain in this part of the body, the most useful advice we can give you is to have a specialist visit you. Don’t wait for the trauma to get worse, since the ankle is a crucial area of the human body and a lesion at this point will greatly affect your mobility and autonomy.