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Preventing Chronic Ankle Instability

According to the December issue of the Journal of Athletic Training, “lateral ankle sprains (LAS’s) are common musculoskeletal injuries among the general population.” As a sports-related injury, “approximately 11,000 ankle sprains occur per year in US collegiate athletes, and ankle-ligament sprains were most frequent in men’s basketball players, notes the research.”

Yet, many people do not perceive that the LAS, as being a substantial injury—with 73% of those sustaining a LAS reporting reinjury.

Up to 40% of these so called “copers”—with reoccurring LAS—will develop chronic ankle instability (CAI). “Individuals with CAI describe feelings of instability or episodic ‘giving way’ and physical or subjective dysfunction lasting more than 1 year, after the initial LAS,” according to the journal.

The gluteal muscles (Glut Max and Med), notes the journal, “play an important role in global movement of the hip, as well as, pelvic stabilization during closed chain exercises. Hip abduction (away from mid line) strength is important to develop in order to reduced LAS and CAI.

Resistance Band Walking:

While seated, place a light-intensity circle band just above the ankles. Stand and maintain a partial-squat position. Take 5 lateral steps as widely as possible to the right and return to start with 5 wide lateral steps.

Sit and place the band around the mid-foot point on feet. Stand and perform 5 lateral steps approximately shoulder width apart. Return to start with 5 steps.

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

Mackie and April have two easy exercises for preventing Ankle Injuries.