Ankle sprains are a common sports injury, yet you don't have to be an athlete to suffer one. Any movement involving jumping, twisting or a sudden change of direction can cause one or several of the ligaments in the ankle to tear, causing a sprain.
These can be difficult and take a long time to heal. In addition, special care must be taken in the recovery process in order to avoid re-injury.
Although the ligaments hold the bones together, the muscles that surround the ankle greatly contribute to balance and stability. In addition, research shows that the stronger your muscles, the better your proprio-ception (self-position feedback to your brain) therefore the less likely you are to get a sprain.
If you do get one, don't forget your RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) then get in touch with your physiotherapist to ensure that you get the best treatment. They will also help you get ACC coverage for your accident.
With the winter sports season well under way, we thought of including a few ankle strengthening exercises for those who have already been injured as well as help the
others remain sprain-free (see overleaf).