While this physiological function is beneficial during physical performance, it actually turns into a disadvantage when you encounter a tissue damage. Learn about your sprain, how to treat it, and what to do after it heals. No matter the activity, weak ankles can make certain movements painful. First, sit on the chair and position yourself next to the table. This is why the immediate thing you should do is to follow a treatment process known as RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. The only two components you might be missing now is your coordination and reaction abilities. What Is An Ankle Sprain? It’s also time to start rebuilding and improving the strength and balance in your foot joint, to the same level as prior to the injury. Don't play soccer if you have an ankle injury. Needless to say, there is a lot of pressure for an athlete to return to play (RTP) as soon as possible. As a result, pressure around that area is increased and triggers pain in the ankle joint. Repeat 2 or 3 times. Stretch your calves by standing and facing a wall with your hands pressed against the wall at shoulder height. Hold this position for a count of 10 seconds and repeat three times, twice daily for stronger feet. Unfortunately, injuries that damage ankle ligaments tend to reoccur because the ligaments get stretched out. The other obvious reason why you want to end the activity as soon as possible is to prevent the injury from turning worse. A fall can seriously injure your joints, and ankle injuries such as sprains are common among soccer players. You can sprain your ankle with just one slip and twist. Perform balancing exercises on a stability ball. Soccer Simulation Exercises Hip Abduction with Soccer Ball. Hold the stretch position for 20 to 30 seconds while relaxing and breathing deeply. Ankle Focused Squats - (ankle flexibility and mobility) 7. Stretch your calves by standing and facing a wall with your hands pressed against the wall at shoulder height. Regarding the topic of what is the most optimal way to treat an ankle sprain, there is still a lack of research and evidence-based literature available. Ankle Strengthening Exercises For Soccer Players Normally, the consequences are not that severe and if its the first sprain most players can return to soccer practise within a few weeks. Personally, I had to modify my shin guards and wear a larger sock to slide a minimal ankle brace underneath. Twist the front of your feet outward and away from each other. 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]. Instructions: Slowly move into the stretch position until you feel a tension of about 7 out of 10. If you have played soccer through high school then you have probably sprained your ankle. Make sure that the furniture does not move. Do you know how common ankle sprains are in youth soccer? Best Soccer Ankle Braces – 2020 Reviews We recently revised our list of best soccer ankle braces in 2020. As you may suspect or have experienced, this is rarely a sustainable solution and usually results in the same injury returning just a few weeks later. The tape helps stabilize your ankle and provides some extra cushion that can lessen the effects of any impact. Slowly press your right heel toward the ground. In pro sports it happens regularly, guys will be given a 12 week recovery and by week 9 they’re back. Normally, the consequences are not that severe and if its the first sprain most players can return to soccer practise within a few weeks. This can be achieved by using a pillow to support your foot into a higher position, any time you sit or lie down. The contents of this website do not constitute medical, legal, or any other type of professional advice. Another hot topic that you may be familiar with is the potential relation between ankle injuries and soccer games played on artificial turf. Can you give me some strength exercises for them? Let your heels hang down off the back of a step, then lift up onto your heels. A sprain occurs when a … The ankle injury [sprain] is one of the most common injuries I personally have seen at every age & level from youth to pro. To do the exercise: Moving only your ankle, point your foot forward (while keeping knees straight). Hold for 15 to 20 seconds, then switch sides. As a precaution, you may use a thin piece of cloth between the ice bag and your ankle to avoid direct contact. Another option is to find an ankle brace that works with your cleats, and shin pads, which is easier said than done. Physio Room; Exercises for Ankle Strengthening; Marc Bernier; March 2004, SapeFit.com: Strengthen Your Feet and Ankles. Lateral ankle sprains are an injury to your ligaments on the outside of your ankle. These can typically be improved through variations of jumping exercises or basic strength exercises. Then, take one large step backward with your right foot. Or maybe you have a hard time raising your heels in barre class. The shin guard is attached to the ankle protector. When you have reached this stage, your balance and strength should be close to pre-injury levels. Next, raise your heels a few inches above the edge, so that you’re standing on your toes. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds, then switch sides. Thus, you need to dedicate time to reactivating these muscles through various exercises such as the following examples. Keep in mind that during the most severe ankle sprains, the swelling may last for up to 10 days and as result, you might need to prolong the first-stage mobilization phase until the acute pain has decreased. Keep the rest of your leg and thigh still, focus on movement at the ankle. Slowly press your right heel toward the ground. Continue until … This exercise can progressively be made more difficult by bouncing a ball against a wall, at the same time as you try to maintain your balance. The recommended time frame for this step is to place the ice bag on your ankle for approximately 20 minutes. Knees and Toes Squats w/ Arch -( knee mobility and strength, toe flexibility and strength, arching back for hip flexor stretch) 8. When you lower back down, you'll feel the stretch through your calf, ankle and the bottom of your foot. Dan Harriman began writing professionally in 2009 and has a varied background in marketing, ranging from sports management to music promotion. Out of these, the lower limb is most commonly affected with the ankle making up to a third of all injuries [5]. 4 Exercises to Strengthen Weak Ankles. By supporting your ankle through taping, you are likely to be able to resume soccer practise within 2-4 weeks and can then simply continue your rehabilitation program separately. Wear shin guards equipped with ankle protectors. Rest the heels on the floor, curl the toes tight, then lift and spread the toes apart as far as they will go. Basically, the more blood that flows to the damaged area, the more severe your ankle sprain will be. Even if performing ankle strengthening and rehabilitation exercises might not be the most motivating way to spend your time, keep in mind that it could improve your chances to return- and remain- on the soccer field with your teammates. Harriman holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism with an emphasis on strategic communications from the University of Kansas and earned the International Advertising Association's diploma in marketing communications. During ankle sprains, both the postural muscles and the peroneus muscles are affected negatively, particularly when it comes to balance, reactivity and strength [11]. A previous injury increases your chances of future injury, so if you have an ankle … Aim for 20 repetitions for a total of three sets. One way to provide support to the ankle, after an injury is by taping (kinesiology) it. An injury that is extremely difficult to recover from. Make sure that your toes point forward, your back is straight, and your abdominals are pulled in. Come out of the stretch carefully and perform the stretch on the opposite side if necessary. A common question is whether it’s safe or not to keep your ankle wrapped overnight. 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. Strengthening your ankle joints, tendons, and ligaments is a great way of gradually getting your body ready for high-impact activities such as soccer. Put a rolled towel or foam roller under your ankle. Ankle sprains, while common, can be avoided if you train smart. if you’re planning on returning to action visit a Physiotherapist who can assess the injury and provide a specific action plan. This can help reduce the risk of injury and subsequent ankle pain. If you know how to rehab it you will be back on the field faster.You will also save lots of money from having to pay for a physical therapist. Improve your ankles' flexibility and mobility by regularly doing stretches and rotational exercises. Ankle injuries and relapse of ankle sprains are extremely common among soccer players. An elastic band wraps around the bottom of your heel and keeps the shin guard in place. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anterior_talofibular_ligament, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0949328X1400060X, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2577464/, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2465249/, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4716575/, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12860543, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19361341, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21257668, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25457658, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21903616, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0735675714004276, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23899892. There have been many discussions regarding the effectiveness RICE [9, 10]. Of course this is an extreme simplification as each case is going to be unique. The reason this is so important is due to the fact when a specific muscle group is highly activated, the blood flow to that muscle area will be up to 10 times higher compared to when in resting state. After an ankle sprain, the ligament is normally stretched but rarely completely broken. However, try to keep it as tight as possible for at least the first 10-15 minutes. Perform the exercise on a daily basis for at least 10 minutes per day. Simply take turn between extending and bending your injured foot as far as you can, without any aiding equipment. Repeat 20 repetitions for a total of 3 sets. Understanding ankle sprains, including prevention and rehabilitation strategies, can be incredibly helpful in minimizing the risk of being sidelined by an ankle sprain. Information related to various health, medical, and fitness conditions and their treatment is not meant to be a substitute for the advice provided by a physician or other medical professional. Ankle sprains are the most common injury in soccer, accounting for nearly 20% of all soccer injuries. Strengthening Exercises. Why I like it: – Great for increasing strength from the bottom (concentric portion) of the lift. Ankle sprains occur when the ligaments that support the ankle stretch or tear and can range in severity from mild to severe depending on how much damage … Even though this is a calf stretch, it promotes your ankles' range of motion as well. Ankle injuries among soccer players occur for several reasons. As there is little research regarding this concern, your best option is to consult with a physiotherapist. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. A simple way to do this if you suffer an ankle sprain is to use crutches, which will help to support your foot and ankle. A great example is the military or shoulder-press where you simply finish the movement by standing on your toes. If you twist your ankle, stop playing immediately. Keep your heels planted and toes off the ground. 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. Since a majority of these overuse injuries in runners are located at the ankles or lower legs, including a series of ankle stretches into your warm up and cool down routines can reduce the risk of these occurring. Stretch your calf muscle (gastrocnemius and soleus) by using both an extended and a bent knee. Secure both ends of the band to a stationary object a few inches off the floor. If you neglect this and continue the activity, what started as a partially torn muscle could easily transition into a complete muscle rupture. The purpose of the elevation step is once again to reduce the blood flow to the damaged area and should primarily be applied during the first day after the injury. Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries in soccer. While the player may suffer from reduced physical activity and endurance levels and lost game time the biggest risk is chronic ankle instability. Lunge forward toward the ball with the leg closest to the ball. Lastly, the timetable for this training program is VERY approximate. Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. Ankle stretches for runners can also increase the range of motion of the joint and thus improve performance as well. Many investigations point to strength- and balance- training as most effective. They feel wobbly. Additional to performing these two exercises, you can maintain your condition levels and stimulate your foot and ankle joint by biking. 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. By wrapping your ankle with an elastic bandage, you may decrease the blood flow by as much as 95%. 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. Exercises For Stiff Ankles: Strengthen To Lengthen. 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. Researchers estimate they make up 16-29% of all soccer injuries, making it one of the most common injuries in soccer. Thus, the sooner you can reduce the blood flow to the damaged tissue, the better. In this article, we will review risk factors of ankle injuries and why they affect soccer players, as well as identifying how you can apply ankle strengthening exercises in terms of prevention, pain treatment, and rehabilitation. A medial ankle sprain is when your ligament on the inside of your ankle is injured. Obviously, this exercise should be performed carefully and with the purpose of stretching and balancing your ankle, rather than lifting heavy loads. There also are steps you can take before a game to protect your ankles during play. If we review the statistics further, soccer had more foot and ankle related injuries than any other team sport during the 2004 Olympics [6]. Another common cause is performing resistance exercises that allow athletes to compensate for limited ankle mobility. When ligaments become stretched and too loose, they become unstable--leading to sprains. Slowly roll your ankle in a circular motion. You may feel tightness in your calf muscle behind your lower leg. How to Tape a Foot for Soccer. As a general guideline, it is not a bad idea to continue to tape your ankle well after your injury. Some recommended soccer prehab exercises are inch worms, calf eccentrics, star excursion, and single-leg stability activities. After you’ve ended the activity, you can beneficially cool down the damaged area by applying an ice bag to your ankle joint. Put one end of the therapy band around a table leg, and the other on the outside of your foot. Strengthening exercises can also improve your performance on the field. Now, position your feet on the edge of the block or the step. Get deep into that Achilles tendon area by doing heel lifts off a step. Since the swelling in your ankle joint will affect its range of motion negatively, once swelling has gone down you can begin to work on recovering range of motion. If you are still unsure, simply take off the elastic bandage while you sleep and wrap it on again the next day. An ankle injury on the soccer field can be a devastating setback for an athlete at the top of their game. If you don’t have the proper training equipment, you can use a stair step. The average rehabilitation-time to allow ankle injuries to fully heal is 12 weeks. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing a health or fitness problem or disease. The most striking data, however, are that 75-80% of all ankle sprains are relapse injuries [8]. In total, the elastic bandage should stay applied for approximately the next 24-48 hours after the injury. 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 order for this step to aid in minimizing the swelling of an ankle sprain, make sure to place your foot above the level of your heart. Action: Grasp the middle of your foot and slowly pull the foot downwards to stretch the front of the ankle. These exercises will teach you how to strengthen your ankles and prevent injury. [1] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0949328X1400060X, [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2577464/, [3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2465249/, [4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4716575/, [5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12860543, [6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19361341, [7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21257668, [8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25457658, [9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21903616, [10] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0735675714004276, [11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23899892, Braceaccess.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. MudrasHeadache RemediesFeet CarePhysical Therapy This foot exercise is called the toe spread. Below, you’ll find two different ankle strengthening exercises you can follow. Wrap fitness tape around your ankle before putting on your equipment. The ligament is then stretched even further and unless you undergo a proper ankle sprain rehabilitation, it’s likely that the problem will continue. Furthermore, you can do zig-zag jumps between cones, or start with short-distance jumps that you successively increase to long-distance jumps. My ankles are not strong. Individual results may vary. With that said, RICE alone should not be considered a cure for ankle sprains. – Improves your ability to bust through strength plateaus and be able to lift heavier. Elevation may also be a good alternative to compression during the night if you decide to not sleep with an elastic bandage. HOW TO TREAT A SOCCER ANKLE INJURY. 6. Instead, it should be view as a complementary treatment during the first 24-48 hours after the injury has occurred, with the main purpose being to minimize swelling and pain reduction. If you have ankle problems, wrapping your ankle before a game is beneficial. Ankle sprains happen when the ligaments in the foot and ankle are stretched beyond their abilities. Turn your ankle slowly in circles, clockwise 10 circles and counterclockwise 10 circles. 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]. Written by Laura Hensley. Aim to stretch 30 seconds for a total of three sets. Soccer Prehab Exercises For Lateral Ankle Sprain Hold that position 2-3 seconds, before slowly lowering your heels back to the starting point. Hold your right foot with your hands. This helps keep your socks and ankle protectors in place. Move just your foot and ankle… Resistance training will strengthen the muscles and tendons around your ankle, which helps protect the bones. Cotton soccer socks are usually thicker and provide slightly more protection than synthetic socks. Before beginning this training program, you should keep in mind that it is not optimized to suit all ankle injured soccer players out there. You can also wrap sports tape around your ankle with your equipment already on. Which ankle strengthening exercises should you do? What you may do then is simply to ease up the wrap a bit. Although some studies suggest that the ice might slow down the blood flow to the damaged area, the main function with applying ice is to reduce pain. You can do these lifts standing on both feet or on one foot at … Though socks don't provide significant protection, they can lessen the effects of cleats scraping against your ankle. In the 2010 FIFA World Cup, ankle sprains were one of the most diagnosed injuries and out of these, close to 50% prevented participation in training or competition [7]. If you experience the pressure from the elastic bandage as somewhat painful, that’s completely normal. It may also lead to a lack of oxygen in the tissue around the ankle, which could cause further tissue damage. Remember to listen to your body. To add a bit more excitement to this exercise, put your timer on 1 minute and try to perform as many rounds as possible. Perform these ankle exercises barefoot daily to maximize strength. Performing strength exercises are not only a good way for you to increase your strength levels and prevent future injuries, they can also be used to improve your coordination and stability. Soccer is a fast-paced sport that requires quick movement and good flexibility. Although there is still a high need for further research on how to best treat and rehabilitate ankle injuries, following the RICE treatment and undergoing a proper training program is a first step to prevent relapse. Side Splits- (adductors and groin stretch and strength if taking hands off the ground which I did not do because I'm not Van Damme) 9. 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. 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. See more ideas about ankle exercises, sprained ankle, exercise. Your ankles can endure considerable abuse during a soccer game. Resisted ankle plantar flexion helps to strengthen your calf muscles and Achilles tendon. Our top 5 choices based on verified buyer experiences are: Zensah Ankle Support – Compression Ankle Brace TechWare Pro Ankle Brace Compression Sleeve DonJoy Performance POD Ankle Brace Med Spec ASO Ankle Stabilizer Gonicc Professional Foot Sleeve Pair … What most players do in this case is simply to rest and wait for the swelling to go down, before quickly getting back into action. Make sure you complete stretches before and after a game, and include exercises that increase flexibility and strength in the surrounding muscles. Any impact to your ankle during a game could aggravate your injury. Step 1 leg forward and bend it at the knee. 2. In order to achieve a full range of motion, begin with placing your feet on a block stop or a calf block. Hip Adduction with Soccer Ball. Brace Access does not dispense medical advice. When you encounter an acute injury such as an ankle sprain, blood rapidly begins streaming to the damaged area. In the next sections, we will explain each step in more detail. The Squat is a great example of this. Next, plant your toes into the ground so your foot is vertical. Strength-train on a regular basis to develop the muscles near your ankles. More specific ankle exercises include strapping a small, tubular resistance band around the front of your feet. Lift one leg and balance yourself for at least one minute, then switch legs. This is a very simple example that you can do at home as all you need is a therapy band, a chair and a table. 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. Stand up and place your hands against a wall. Sit comfortably with your left leg crossed over your right knee. It is often associated with a fracture of your fibula (outside lower leg bone) or other … 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. WHAT HELPS ANKLE PAIN DURING SOCCER? Without further ado, here are 7 best single leg exercises for soccer players: 1) Dead Stop SLRDL. – Allows you to work on the part of the movement where you feel most vulnerable. 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. As mentioned above, there’s a ton of different jumping exercises that you can apply to rehabilitate your ankle. Dynamic Stretching for Soccer Games and Practice Prep for your match with these basic soccer stretches. Wear socks when you play soccer. It is also relatively common that players who previously suffered a major ankle injury will encounter a similar or less serious relapse-injury. During the rest process, you should also avoid exposing the damaged muscle or joint from any high impact movements within the first 24-48 hours after the injury occurred. 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. Fortunately, there are precautions that can be taken to prevent this. According to some critics, this treatment is outdated and perhaps not as efficient as first perceived. Aim for 2-3 variations of jumps and perform each exercise for approximately 60 seconds. Now, your foot should be turned slightly inwards and from this position, slowly turn your foot outwards (only your foot, not the entire leg) so that you can feel it stretch. Loop and secure a band around your ankles. Basic exercises such as standing and seated calf raises can help strengthen the soleus muscles below the calves. As we have discussed and previously mentioned, 75-80% of all ankle sprains are relapse injuries [8]. One of the most basic ones is to have a starting point from which you begin a cycle of jumping one step forward, one step backward, one step right, and then one step left. One of the easiest strengthening exercises for ankle health is the heel walk. Do a standing ankle stretch against a wall. There are countless of exercises that you can do to train your peroneus muscles. Remember to keep your knee stationary throughout the entire exercise. Even if the pain subsides after a few minutes, a twisted ankle requires rest to fully recover. Eventually, you can also start to re-introduce smaller exercises that are more soccer-specific. Unfortunately, injuries that damage ankle ligaments tend to reoccur because the ligaments get stretched out. If you feel pain or discomfort you’ve pushed the stretch too far; back out of the stretch immediately. By this stage, the majority of the swelling around your ankle joint should hopefully be gone and this means that you can start to use the injured foot for walking again. Stretching of the calf is often recommended when the goal is to improve ankle range of motion through muscle-tendon length, however, stretching was shown to be no better than just performing eccentric exercises. Take turns between balancing on both feet or only the injured foot on a balance board. 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 … Firstly, when you suspect that an injury has occurred; play it safe and end the activity you were performing as soon as possible. Rather, please consult your healthcare professional for information on the courses of treatment, if any, which may be appropriate for you. Mar 30, 2016 - Explore Penny Jackson's board "Ankle Exercises" on Pinterest. In this section, we will present a general training program aimed at helping you to achieve that goal. Soccer socks come in various styles and are made from either cotton or synthetic material. Not only does the athlete suffer, but the entire team takes a hit, and even the coach stands to face career issues if a key player goes down in mid-season.