Many runners develop ankle sprains, but they are typically avoidable. Sprains and strains commonly occur in the foot and the ankle. A sprain or a strain is basically a stretching of the ligaments or tendons. Unfortunately with ligaments – if a sprain occurs you will never truly have a complete recovery because ligaments are meant to be tight to prevent motion. Once a ligament is strained or sprained the ligament never returns to its original length and its ability to prevent motion is weakened to a certain extent. Tendons are a little different if sprained. If a tendon is sprained or strained in the foot or ankle it can heal but it is still weakened.
The best way to prevent strains and sprains in the foot and ankle is to stretch correctly for at least ten minutes before a run and ten minutes after a run, and wearing appropriate sneakers. In my opinion, flexible arch sneakers can predispose you to injury and I won’t wear that type of sneaker for a long run. Lastly, custom orthotics are essential to mangling the dynamics of the foot and conservatively is the best way to prevent ankle sprains.
Have questions about your running regimen or foot and ankle pain you’re experiencing while out on a run? Contact Dr. Wachtel today by calling our office, or filling out our online contact form.