According to podiatry today there are 265 Million soccer players around the world. This includes male and female athletes. That’s a lot of people playing soccer and as you could imagine within that demographic there is bound to be sprained ankles. Foot injuries within the millions of kicks and hits that happen every day.
Which means podiatrists all over the world stay pretty busy treating these soccer players.
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Why do soccer players sprain their ankles?
A sprained ankle happens when ligaments inside the ankle are torn. Most of the time a sprained ankle happens on the lateral/outside of the ankle. In soccer many players who happen to step on uneven ground at a fast pace or stepping on another player’s foot. The ankle can move in ways that it’s not supposed to leading to the torn ligaments and a sprained ankle.
Soccer players will report pain after rolling their ankle, usually on the outside. After the injury happens the player can usually determine whether or not they have an injury. It’s best to have the injury accessed to decide if it is, in fact, a sprained ankle. A good rule of thumb is that if you’re unable to walk a few steps without the ankle hurting then you should consult with your podiatrist about having it looked at.
Your ankle has multiple ligaments and your ligaments connect each of your bones in the ankle. When you’re speaking of a sprained ankle there are a few of those ligaments that are as you could guess, sprained.
An eversion ankle sprain can happen while playing soccer too. Just not as frequently as eversion sprains. These are the two types of ankle sprains that can happen: Inversion Sprain and Eversion Sprain.
Eversion Sprain: As we already mentioned an Eversion sprain happens when the lateral and outer ligaments are stretched too far. This is the most common type of ankle sprain and especially in soccer.
Eversion Sprain: These type of sprains happen when the ankle rolls too far inwards. Not as common in soccer but still possible.
Now that you have an understanding of how sprained ankles can happen in soccer and what they are you should be able to address them if you have one.
Treating the Sprained Ankle
From person to person the severity of the actual ankle sprain will vary. Sometimes there are on field treatments that can go underway and sometimes the ER or a podiatrist visit is necessary. The player will always be able to verbally translate the pain that she/he is feeling.
Above the heart
As much as possible, try to keep the blood flow to the heart good by elevating the ankle.
Staying off the ankle
Crutches or a boot can be issues to assist the healing process. Staying off the foot by avoiding any exercises or activities is good too
Help the healing process of the ankle by applying ice to reduce swelling. Remember to never apply Ice to your bare skin.
Recover by rest
This goes hand in hand with staying off the ankle. The first steps to recovery of your ankle should be rest. In no time you will be back on the field.
If needed you can apply ankle wrap to the ankle to help reduce any type of swelling or bleeding from the injury you sustained while playing soccer
When pain becomes unbearable and you can’t even walk anymore without the pain. It’s time to consult with your doctor or local podiatrist. Especially with a 2nd or 3rd-degree sprain. The tips to recovery we mentioned above are a great place to start but you will have a better idea of what steps to take after consulting with your doctor.
Getting back on the field
With any injury that is the result of a sport, you shouldn’t just jump back in like the ankle sprain never happened. Take it easy, try levels of something before stabbing at a full kick or running full speed. This will let you learn what you can and can’t do right away.
Your goals when returning to the soccer field should be on running without feeling the pain or limping. Focusing on the game more than your prior injury, unless it is clearly bothering you. Regaining full strength in the ankle that had been strained, you can compare it to your uninjured ankle.
If you have a team physician or podiatrist you frequently see ask them about good exercises for the ankle that can help with recovery.