• Top Ways To Prevent Football Related Foot And Ankle Injuries

    by Dr. LaMour
    on Nov 4th, 2015

Playing any sport comes with inherent risks for injury, but high-contact sports like football can expose both pro and amateur players to even more risk. Sports-related foot and ankle injuries are usually more severe than injuries sustained during accidents or everyday wear and tear. Plenty of football players have seen a season or career ended early due to a lingering foot or ankle injury – making injury prevention critical for players who want to keep at their sport. While there’s no way to guarantee 100% injury prevention, practicing the following good habits both on and off the football field will definitely give you a leg up. 

Use the Right Foot & Ankle Gear

sprained or twisted ankle is one of the most common injuries in football. Wearing the right cleats along with orthotics that help correct any existing foot or ankle problems is the foundation for on-field injury prevention. Using an ankle brace or taping the ankle during practices and game day can provide extra stability and protection against ankle injuries resulting from tackles, falls, or over-extension of the ankle muscles and ligaments.

Always Warm Up & Cool Down

Performing a series of stretches and exercises to warm up stiff or tight muscles and ligaments is essential before every game or practice. Cooling down after play is just as important for preventing – or even discovering – a foot or ankle injury. Calf stretches, ankle rotations, and toe touches are recommended for keeping feet and ankles limber.

Have Regular Foot Checkups

Be sure to have a thorough foot and ankle examination before football season begins – especially if you already have a problem with either the structure or the mechanics of your foot. Mid-season and end-of-season checkups are also recommended for regular football players and young athletes whose feet and ankles are still developing. Your podiatrist can recommend specific injury prevention methods to use during practice and games.

Strengthen Your Calves and Ankles

Calves and ankles take a lot of pressure during an average football game. In addition to supporting a player’s full body weight, the muscles in your lower extremities provide explosive power when running and stopping on the field. Exercises that strengthen calf and ankle muscles are an important part of any football players’ training regimen. 

Develop ‘Quick Feet’

Drills that help football players develop greater balance, rhythm and coordination are an essential component of a football injury prevention plan. Also known as ‘quick feet’ drills, these exercises not only make football players more dynamic on game day, they teach players to move their feet and ankles with more precision and control. Studies have shown that the use of ‘quick feet’ methods like agility ladders and balance boards have reduced the incidence of ankle sprains for football players by 30–35%.

Helping keep athletes safe from foot and ankle injury is one of our core specialties. We can offer injury prevention advice, and fit you or your young football players for injury-preventing orthotics or braces. Don’t expose your feet and ankles to unnecessary risk. Contact us today for an appointment!

Original Source: http://www.drjefflamour.com/sports-injuries/top-ways-to-prevent-football-related-foot-and-ankle-injuries/

Author Dr. LaMour

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