As an athlete, staying active brings you a lot of benefits. It keeps your body young, and you feel good about your well-being.
If you’re an athlete who engages in sports as a means to stay active, you should know that the sport you love could also put you back on the bench or in bed. It could hurt you with the most common injury in any sport—ankle sprain.
Don’t let that happen.
Know if the sport you engage in has the most risk of ankle sprain and learn how an ankle brace can help you reduce the risk or help you recover so you can remain active.
Male-Dominated Sports With High Risk of Ankle Sprains
There are plenty of male-dominated sports out there that, more or less, can cause ankle sprains. Yet some can really be a glutton for punishment for your foot and ankle. So if you’re a guy participating in one or several of these sports, it’s time for you to pay close attention to where your footing lies to avoid ankle sprains. Learn how to protect your foot and ankle in order to stay active.
This male-dominated ball sport has the highest number of ankle sprain injuries on high school and college students. There’s more likelihood of the injury happening on actual competition, although the frequency of incurring ankle sprain occurs during practice. The ankle sprain becomes more frequent because of movements such as jumping, shooting the ball, or retrieving it.
If you’re a guy who loves this sport, you may be susceptible to ankle sprain if you push yourself too hard during practice. On the other hand, there are many ankle support shoes men can purchase in the market that can reduce the likelihood of an ankle sprain.
This ball sport, also known as European football, is a world-famous sport that involves heavy use of the lower extremities. Research regarding foot and ankle injuries of professional football players has also shown that in this male-dominated ball sport, ankle sprain is the most common injury associated with the sport. It tops the list at 80%, followed by bruises (49%) and tendon lesions (23%).
Suppose you’re one of those who play this sport. In that case, you should consider purchasing an ankle brace for professional soccer players, as these are tried and tested on professional playing grounds.
This high-impact sport puts a lot of stress and beating on your foot and ankle at each foot strike. When running, the most common ankle sprain is the lateral sprain, which happens when your center of weight lands improperly on the foot that landed on the ground, causing inversion. The most common cause of this running injury is the wrong footwear. Wearing the incorrect one tends to mess up your ankle’s biomechanics and balance, making it more likely for you to incur a lateral sprain. There are several ankle brace running men like you must purchase to help prevent any ankle sprain during training.
Causes of Ankle Sprain
There will always be certain instances wherein you have to take a hiatus from training. But there will come a time when you’ll need to rekindle that love for the sport. When that happens, you think you still have it. So you just go out there and start playing again without any proper conditioning.
This common perception is rooted in our belief that the benefits of our previous training somehow still carry over to our present physiological wellbeing even after a long hiatus.
This perception has to be set aside. You should do proper conditioning before giving it your 110% out there, or you risk injuries such as an ankle sprain, among other things.
Foot and ankle fatigue occurs when you push yourself beyond the acceptable threshold without rest intervals. This condition typically happens in the latter part of the sports activity.
One good example is when you’re running a marathon. All things being equal, fatigue would most likely set in right around the twenty-first kilometer. If you don’t slow your pace down, your fatigue level will increase, and your joints decrease their sense of passive and active joint positioning. When that happens, you’ll stumble upon an ankle sprain.
Wearing a shoe that’s not designed for the sport you’re engaging in can contribute to an increased risk of an ankle sprain. Simply put, inappropriate sports footwear does not support the range of foot and ankle movements commonly executed in a particular sport. This will result in increased pressure and stress placed on your foot and ankle.
Ankle sprains caused by several factors mentioned above can prevent you from participating in a sport. It’s a bummer when you have to remain inactive for a while due to an ankle sprain because you miss out on progressing as an athlete.
But just how long does an ankle sprain take to recover fully? That depends on the type of ankle sprain you’ve incurred.
This is a minor tear on your ligaments that can cause some pain and swelling, but it can be tolerable. That’s why athletes tend to shrug this off and continue with what they’re doing, but at some point during or after the sports activity, it could get worse, and you would be forced to rest and recover.
The recovery period would be about three weeks. The worse ones might take as long as five weeks to recover.
This is half your ligaments getting torn and would be more painful and cause more swelling. A grade 1 sprain may escalate to grade 2 if you push it further, and this level of ankle sprain causes immobilization, so you’ll be forced to sit it out.
The full recovery period of an ankle sprain is 6 weeks.
This is the most insidious one for male athletes. A grade 3 sprain means a complete tear of the ligaments and would cause severe pain and swelling. There’s also a risk of permanent disability, which may prevent you from participating in a sport again. This acute ankle sprain condition will need more careful treatment to prevent it from happening again in the future.
How long? You won’t be getting any sports activities for three to six months.
The Ws of Wearing an Ankle Brace Men Need To Know
Ankle braces prevent any further damage to your ligaments when you’re recovering from ankle sprains and in the process of rehabilitation progressing towards full recovery.
Ankle braces help you reduce the time you spend inactive so you can effortlessly get back on a sport you love.
You can use an ankle brace several weeks after the injury to reduce any muscle movement on the ankle area and allow the tissue to heal. You have to take care of your ankles and not subject them to further action so they can bounce back faster.
Contrary to the myth of ankle braces contributing to muscle weakness in sports, they don’t. All it does is restrict specific risky movements of your ankles so as not to tear your ligaments and suffer another ankle sprain. So don’t be afraid to use it every time you engage in your favorite sport.
There are three types of braces you can purchase depending on your needs:
Soft braces – These are the compression foot sleeves men commonly wear that could aid in the recovery process right after the injury. This brace is made of soft and stretchable materials that you can wrap around our ankles, and it would provide comfort and heat and restrict specific movements.
Semi-rigid brace – This type of brace will give moderate support and may serve as an after-recovery tool to reduce any future ankle sprain injury. These are normally made of semi-rigid materials and can be worn together with a shoe which makes them perfect for use during a sports activity.
Rigid brace – These are made of hard plastic and tend to be stirred up in a figure-eight motion. This isn’t meant to be used during sports activities and is only recommended as part of post-injury treatment to immobilize the painful area that causes discomfort when you try to move about.
Prevention is better than cure.
We’ve all heard it before, and we always let it come out the other ear whenever we do. It’s time for us to heed that cliché if we want to remain active in the sport we enjoy.
You’re an athlete, and athletes must always strive for better performance. To do that, you need to remain active. So don’t let ankle sprains prevent you from moving towards your goals.
Ankle braces prevent injuries that cause inactivity, so you can always choose to stay active.
Buy one. Wear one. It’s not too late.