Common Ankle Injuries And British Athletics Indoor Championships

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This weekend the English Institute of Sport (EIS) will open its doors for the British Indoor Athletics Championship, an event which has already been sold out. The event will see the best of British come together as they compete for an all important place on the World Indoor Championships team which will be held in Poland in March.

Spectators will also have the chance to see a number of Olympians in action as Holly Bleasdale, Eilidh Child, James Dasaolu and Robbie Grabarz all hoping to retain the titles they won at the championships last year and add a few more medals to the trophy cabinet on the way.

We are now at the start of the athletics season, with many having rested over the Christmas period so that they are in fine shape coming into a busy year consisting of the World Indoor Championships and the Commonwealth Games. Athletes will be training hard, with any injury setback potentially ruining their season. This article looks at some of the most common ankle injuries sustained by athletes and amateurs alike and how they can be managed.

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Ankle injuries

The majority of ankle injuries occur as a result of overuse, where an athlete pushes themselves too far or as they become tired are more prone to mistakes. At some stage we will all encounter an ankle injury, whether from running, slipping on a wet floor or landing awkwardly from a jump. In the majority of cases the condition is self-limiting and whilst it can be painful you should expect to be back in action following a few days of rest.

A sprained ankle is the most common form of injury, where mild damage to the ligaments are sustained resulting from an unnatural movement of the joint i.e. twisting the ankle. This can cause inflammation though applying ice and elevating the joint can help the swelling to subside. An ankle support can also be used in the days after the initial injury to help support you as you get back on your feet.

Where there is more serious damage to the ligaments then the treatment options can change dramatically, with surgery sometimes being required to repair ruptured or damaged ligaments. In such cases you may sometimes feel a pop as the ligament tears which will affect your ability to apply weight on the joint, let alone carrying on with an event. Where surgery is required there will be a period of rest post surgery followed by intensive physiotherapy to help regain strength in the joint before you are able to commence with light training once again.

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Using an ankle support as part of injury management

The use of an ankle support is becoming more mainstream, with many professionals understanding the benefits of wearing them either as a preventative measure or during their return from injury. Andy Murray has even been seen sporting them at Wimbledon with his very own custom white design to comply with the rules and regulations of the tournament.

The injury you wish to manage will ultimately dictate the type of ankle support you should use, with an array of designs and materials available. The main purpose of an ankle support is to offer compression to an injured area which can help to manage inflammation, reduce pain and keep you more active. You should look for compressive material such as neoprene or BioSkin for this, with a simple tubular bandage doing nothing to help your injury.

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For more serious injuries such as damage to the ligaments resulting in ankle instability you need something designed to offer you the stability you have lost. A BioSkin Trilok is a strapped brace, with the straps working as an external ligament to offer additional stability of the joint during movement. To prevent the rolling of the ankle which can lead to further injury then a stirrup ankle support can be used, which is of rigid design sitting on either side of the joint to prevent sideways movement without restricting your ability to walk.

The use of sports braces in the treatment of running injuries is becoming more mainstream. Dave Regis discusses the use of an ankle support in conjunction with other treatment options following injury.

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