Tennis is considered as a physically demanding sport and ankle injuries can occur. If an individual is planning to play tennis for recreation or as a sport, it is vital to learn the proper form as well as technique of the game in order to avoid incurring any injuries. A sprained ankle is considered the most common injury by those who play tennis. Even professional tennis players end up with ankle injuries such as a sprained ankle. It is important that you know how to prevent and properly manage ankle injuries such as a sprained ankle.
Why ankle sprains are common in tennis?
It is important to note that tennis mainly focuses on abrupt direction changes, short stops, side-to-side movement and quick acceleration. These movements will put a large amount of strain on the joints, especially the ankles. Most cases of ankle sprains in tennis are due to roll over type of injury. During a roll-over sprain, weight is placed on the foot to stop the momentum, but instead of stopping, the ankle is rolled over, resulting to a sprain.
Even though the proper techniques are observed, there are instances when injuries could not be avoided. Once injuries occur such as a sprained ankle, being prepared with the steps to take can greatly help out in easing the discomfort as well as promoting faster recovery of the injury.
Appropriate footwear for tennis
At the present, tennis shoes are specifically built with emphasis on providing lateral support. Using cross trainers or running shoes can drastically increase the risk of the individual for sustaining ankle injuries. Take note that cross trainers and running shoes do not have the required lateral stability to protect the ankle from the rigidities of the sport.
When buying the right shoes for tennis, it is best to purchase a reputable store with sales personnel who can help you find the right one. These personnel can guide you in finding the right pair of shoes suitable for the sport.
An effective way to prevent ankle injuries especially sprains is to use an ankle brace. These ankle braces are vital if the individual has a history of incurring ankle sprains. Every ankle sprain incurred will weaken the supporting ligaments, thus increasing the likelihood of further injury in the future. Based on studies conducted, ankle braces are highly effective in preventing ankle sprains than taping or other methods.
Treatment of ankle sprains
In case a player sustained an ankle sprain, the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation) can be used for the first few days. If you want to learn more on how to effectively provide the RICE method option, register for a first aid and CPR course. (Read here for more information about the courses). It is still best to consult a doctor for advice after ankle injuries such as an ankle sprain. In most cases, physical therapy can also hasten the recovery period and reduce the risk for re-injury in the future.