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Exercises to Reduce Risk to Ankle Sprains

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), “an ankle sprain occurs when the strong ligaments that support the ankle stretch beyond their limits and tear. Ankle sprains are common injuries that occur among people of all ages. They range from mild to severe, depending upon how much damage there is to the ligaments.”

The AAOS further states, “without proper treatment and rehabilitation, a more severe sprain can weaken your ankle—making it more likely that you will injure it again. Repeated ankle sprains can lead to long-term problems, including chronic ankle pain, arthritis, and ongoing instability” – known as chronic ankle instability.

Prevention is the operative word with respect to injury prevention. Here are two simple, yet effective exercises – Ankle External Rotation & Flexion / Extension – which use an inexpensive versa loop, light resistance band that retails for under $5.

Ankle External Rotation – Place the band around the both feet at the mid-foot position. Sit in an upright position with legs extended and bent at the knee – with toes pointing up and heels in contact with the ground. Rotate your feet simultaneously outward – in & out – while maintaining tension on the band. Perform 10-15 repetitions.

Ankle Flexion / Extension – In a similar set up, place the band under the forefoot around both feet. This time alternate pushing one foot out, while pulling the other in toward the shin. Perform 10-15 repetitions.

Remember, you should always consult your physician before beginning any exercise, diet, or nutritional supplementation program.

Mackie and April share exerises every Wednesday on WWL-TV