Are you a netballer?
Getting sprained your ankles over and over again?
They’re super painful aren’t they?? How unfair!
We’re playing a sport we love, yet it’s a sport with one of the highest injury rates.
I say we, because I’m a netballer just like you!
I’ve had my fair share of ankle sprains too!
Ankle sprains account for 30% of all netball injuries
What is the best way to prevent ankle sprains?
The nature of the sport means that there is a lot of stop/starting and a lot of side to side motion. This puts us as netballers at a huge risk of ankle injuries!
Evidence shows the most effective ways to reduce risk of ankle sprains is by doing a neuromuscular training program, or by using taping or bracing.
Neuromuscular training sounds tricky but it really isn’t.
The focus is on control of the movements so you are teaching your brain and muscles to react. It’s super important in prevention of all injuries or rehab after an injury!
Some examples are: squatting on a bosu ball, lunges, jumping and landing and the list goes on!! Our podiatrists are here to help you with these exercises!
Do netball shoes really make a difference?
Footwear is another huge factor!
A lot of girls will wear running shoes when playing because they’re light and comfortable.
The problem here is that running shoes don’t offer enough stability or control.
This means you can roll your ankle much more easily than in a netball shoe!
Have a look at the picture above – this is exactly what we see with the wrong shoes!
I’ve sprained my ankle, now what?
Here are some of my hot tips for a speedy recovery!
- Use the RICE principal! Rest, ice, compression and elevate ONLY for a short period of time. It’s important you start trying to walk as normal as possible (heel-toe gait) after 24 hours.
- You can take medications such as Nurofen and Voltaren 48 hours after the injury. The initial swelling brings the good blood cells to help heal faster, that’s why you can’t take them earlier.
- Start moving and getting stronger!
Ankle Balance Tips
A good starting point is balance! After you injure your ankle, your balance will literally go out the window so the first goal is to get that back!
The best way to improve your balance is by practicing standing on one foot in different conditions.
Start on foam or a pillow double leg
Progress to single-leg standing
If this is too easy, close your eyes!
Closing your eyes removes one of our biggest cues and stimulators, our vision. By removing that, it automatically makes the exercise more difficult to make you work harder!
Ankle Strength Tips
Once you’ve mastered balancing, we want to make sure you’re nice and strong through your calf!
We start with calf raises on both legs! Ideally we should be able to do 25 of these before progressing. It’s super important that we are doing these properly and not jumping the gun!Exercise progression and timing of this is key in a strong recovery. We want you back to playing the sport you love but we want you to be doing this to the best of your ability!
If you’d like to know more, book in today so we can keep your ankle injury free!