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Ankle Ligament Injury

Basketball Ankle Sprain: Prevention

Minute Read

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Posted 2 months ago

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Last updated: 03/12/2022

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by James McCormack

Lateral Ankle Sprains are the most common type of injury in Basketball, and as a result, it is an injury that causes the most amount of missed playing time. Other common injuries to the ankle playing Basketball include a High Ankle Sprain and Deltoid Ligament Sprain.

In a contact sport, there is a limit to how much you can do to reduce the risk of an ankle sprain. Still, a thorough prevention programme can significantly reduce non-contact sprains that result from changes in direction or landing from a jump shot.

Basketball Ankle Braces and Ankle Taping are effective strategies for reducing ankle sprains. While most believe that high-top basketball shoes provide similar reductions in ankle sprains, there is currently no evidence to support this.

Substantial evidence supports the use of an ankle rehabilitation protocol to reduce the incidence of ankle sprains. This article will provide the fundamental exercises that can reduce your risk of future ankle sprains.

Basketball Ankle Sprain Prevention Exercises

Posterior Tibial Tendon Strengthening

Located on the inside of the ankle and foot, the Posterior Tibial Tendon provides stability to the arch of the foot when jumping and landing.

  • In a seated position, place the affected ankle over the opposite knee
  • Place a band around both feet
  • Point the toes of the affected foot and lift them against the resistance of the band
  • Slowly return to your starting position to complete one repetition
  • Band Colour: Yellow
  • Repetitions: 15
  • Sets: 3
  • Frequency: Once daily

Peroneal Tendon Strengthening

Located on the outside of the ankle, the Peroneal Tendons stabilise the foot and prevent lateral ankle sprains by contracting eccentrically.

  • In a seated position, place both feet flat on the floor
  • Place a band around both feet. Turn the affected foot outwards (eversion) against the resistance of the band
  • Slowly return to your starting position to complete one repetition
  • Band Colour: Yellow
  • Repetitions: 15
  • Sets: 3
  • Frequency: Once daily

Soleus Muscle Strengthening

The soleus muscle is a long flat muscle at the back of your shin. The ankle of the soleus muscle allows it to provide stability to the foot and control pronation speeds that can lead to ankle sprains when deconditioned.

  • Stand on the edge of a step with one leg
  • Place a bend in that knee
  • Hold this knee position and lift your heel as high as possible
  • Slowly return to your starting position to complete one repetition
  • Repetitions: 32
  • Sets: 3
  • Frequency: Once daily

Single Leg Balance – Eyes Closed

We practice balance with our eyes closed, as when we hit an uneven surface, we focus on our surroundings and not our foot placement. Therefore our foot needs to adjust to stabilising without a visual cue.

  • Stand on one leg with your foot flat on the floor
  • Hold your opposite leg out in front
  • Close your eyes while maintaining this position
  • Hold for 60 seconds
  • Repeat 3-4 times daily.

Single Leg Balance – Wobble Cushion

When landing from a jump, we might land on another player’s foot and lead to an ankle sprain. Using a wobble cushion creates that unstable environment to replicate this scenario.

  • Stand on one leg with your foot on a wobble cushion
  • Hold your opposite leg out in front
  • Place a slight bend in your standing knee and hold this position
  • Hold for 60 seconds
  • Repeat 3-4 times daily.

Physiotherapy with James McCormack

This is not medical advice. We recommend a consultation with a medical professional such as James McCormack. He offers Online Physiotherapy Appointments for £45.

Related Article: Best Ankle Braces for Basketball

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