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If you twist your ankle, stop playing immediately. After this critical stage has passed and you have completed all of the steps in RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation), it’s extremely important that you begin to mobilize and activate the damaged area to accelerate the healing process. Place a soccer ball just in front and to the side of your starting position. Ankle injuries are common in the sport, and though you can't directly make your ankle stronger, you can strength-train the muscles near the joint for more stability. Ankle sprains, while common, can be avoided if you train smart. Sit comfortably with your left leg crossed over your right knee. While most shin guards are simple insert guards, you can get shin guards that are pulled on like socks. This is obviously bad news since every time you sprain your ankle, the ligaments around your foot are stretched further and further, which can result in permanently reduced ankle function. Additional to performing these two exercises, you can maintain your condition levels and stimulate your foot and ankle joint by biking. For maximal effect, you should wrap your ankle as tightly as possible, especially right after the injury has occurred since that’s when the blood flow is at its peak. As a result, pressure around that area is increased and triggers pain in the ankle joint. By wrapping your ankle with an elastic bandage, you may decrease the blood flow by as much as 95%. After the acute phase of your ankle sprain has passed, the first 24-48 hours, it’s time to progressively start using your ankle again. Unfortunately, injuries that damage ankle ligaments tend to reoccur because the ligaments get stretched out. Exercises For Stiff Ankles: Strengthen To Lengthen. if you’re planning on returning to action visit a Physiotherapist who can assess the injury and provide a specific action plan. As for re-introducing soccer-specific exercises, a good start would be to begin with low-intensity movements that don’t put too much pressure on your foot, such as dribbling the ball between cones. Studies show that elite soccer players experience as many as 13 to 35 injuries per 1000 competitive player-hours, of which 74% are caused by direct player contact [4]. Compression is the most effective step in the RICE treatment when it comes to decreasing blood flow to the damaged area, and thus, lowering the swelling. In this section, we will present a general training program aimed at helping you to achieve that goal. Knowing how to treat a sprained ankle, and taking the time to do so, is a MUST for every athlete who wants to return to playing as soon as possible after an ankle injury happens. Soccer socks come in various styles and are made from either cotton or synthetic material. Ankle ROM exercises are pretty simple to do, and after an injury like a sprain or fracture, they can be done two to three times per day to help regain normal ankle mobility. Common foot and ankle injuries that adolescent soccer players may incur include ankle sprains, heel pain secondary to inflammation of the growth plate (Sever’s Disease), and fractures/stress reactions involving the foot and ankle bones. More recently, a study of an English Premier League club showed that 20% of the team’s injuries during a four-year period consisted of foot and ankle injuries [8]. First, sit on the chair and position yourself next to the table. Soccer players will injure their ankle often, due to the nature of the game with sudden change of speed, turns, jumps and contact from other players. Most ankle sprains are triggered by the foot accidentally rolling inwards and damaging a ligament known as the anterior talofibular ligament, which you can locate in the middle-right section of picture: Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anterior_talofibular_ligament. There are countless of exercises that you can do to train your peroneus muscles. According to some critics, this treatment is outdated and perhaps not as efficient as first perceived. Slowly press your right heel toward the ground. Rotate your ankle for 20 to 30 seconds, then switch sides. Stand up and place your hands against a wall. They can side-line any player from training and competing and are difficult to prevent from coming back. They feel wobbly. Unfortunately, injuries that damage ankle ligaments tend to reoccur because the ligaments get stretched out. Your ankles can endure considerable abuse during a soccer game. A sprain occurs when a … By keeping the back leg straight and leaning into the bent knee, you will stretch out the Achilles tendon in the straightened leg and the muscles at the front of the ankle in … The most striking data, however, are that 75-80% of all ankle sprains are relapse injuries [8]. A medial ankle sprain is when your ligament on the inside of your ankle is injured. If you experience the pressure from the elastic bandage as somewhat painful, that’s completely normal. Aim to stretch 30 seconds for a total of three sets. Which ankle strengthening exercises should you do? Put a rolled towel or foam roller under your ankle. This helps keep your socks and ankle protectors in place. Next, raise your heels a few inches above the edge, so that you’re standing on your toes. Why I like it: – Great for increasing strength from the bottom (concentric portion) of the lift. The ligament is then stretched even further and unless you undergo a proper ankle sprain rehabilitation, it’s likely that the problem will continue. Turn your ankle slowly in circles, clockwise 10 circles and counterclockwise 10 circles. Stretch your calves by standing and facing a wall with your hands pressed against the wall at shoulder height. Ankle Focused Squats - (ankle flexibility and mobility) 7. Let your heels hang down off the back of a step, then lift up onto your heels. If you neglect this and continue the activity, what started as a partially torn muscle could easily transition into a complete muscle rupture. When you encounter an acute injury such as an ankle sprain, blood rapidly begins streaming to the damaged area. Action: Grasp the middle of your foot and slowly pull the foot downwards to stretch the front of the ankle. Soccer is a fast-paced sport that requires quick movement and good flexibility. Incorporate the following PNF stretches to continue your journey to full ankle recovery Plantar Flexion Hold one end of the elastic band with your hands and loop the other end around the ball of your foot. Foot and Ankle Conditioning Program STRETCHING EXERCISES Repetitions 2 sets of 10 Days per week 6 to 7 Tip Do not arch your back. In total, the elastic bandage should stay applied for approximately the next 24-48 hours after the injury. Ankle injuries among soccer players occur for several reasons. No matter the activity, weak ankles can make certain movements painful. The main goal for recovering from an ankle sprain is to attempt to rebuild the same full function of the ankle that existed prior to the injury, this strengthening your ankle and working on improving your range of motion. The contents of this website do not constitute medical, legal, or any other type of professional advice. Slowly press your right heel toward the ground. 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