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Game On, Stay Strong: Common Ankle Injuries in Weekend Sports

Dec 22, 2023

Weekend sports enthusiasts, read on!

While participating in sports is a fantastic way to stay active and have fun, it’s important to be aware of the risks involved, particularly when it comes to ankle injuries. Ankle injuries are among the most common types of injuries in sports, affecting athletes of all skill levels. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the most frequent ankle injuries encountered by weekend sports players. By understanding these injuries and taking preventive measures, you can stay on top of your game and minimise the chances of suffering a setback.

1. Ankle Sprains:

Ankle sprains are the most prevalent type of ankle injury in sports. They occur when the ligaments supporting the ankle are stretched or torn due to a sudden twisting or rolling motion. Sports that involve quick changes in direction, such as basketball, soccer, and tennis, put athletes at higher risk. Symptoms of an ankle sprain include pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty bearing weight. Proper warm-up exercises, wearing supportive footwear, and practising balance and proprioception exercises can help prevent ankle sprains.

2. Achilles Tendonitis:

The Achilles tendon, located at the back of the ankle, can become inflamed and irritated due to overuse or repetitive stress. This condition, known as Achilles tendonitis, often affects runners, soccer players, and basketball players. It can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in the back of the ankle. Adequate rest, stretching, proper footwear, and gradually increasing training intensity can help prevent Achilles tendonitis.  If you are already suffering with these issues then treatments such as radial shockwave is a fantastic option to help resolve the issue.  For more information please go to our ankle injury page.

3. High Ankle Sprains:

While less common than regular ankle sprains, high ankle sprains can occur in sports that involve sudden deceleration or twisting movements. High ankle sprains affect the ligaments that connect the two lower leg bones (the tibia and fibula) above the ankle joint. Symptoms include pain and swelling above the ankle, difficulty walking, and instability. This type of sprain often requires more extended recovery time and may require immobilisation with a brace or boot.

4. Fractures:

Fractures in the ankle can result from a direct blow, a fall, or a severe twist. Athletes participating in contact sports like football, hockey, or rugby are more susceptible to ankle fractures. Symptoms include intense pain, swelling, bruising, inability to bear weight, and deformity. Fractures require immediate medical attention and proper immobilisation to allow for proper healing. Wearing appropriate protective gear and ensuring a safe playing environment can help reduce the risk of fractures.

5. Syndesmotic Injuries:

Syndesmotic injuries, also known as high ankle sprains or syndesmotic sprains, occur when the ligaments connecting the tibia and fibula bones are stretched or torn. These injuries are often the result of a twisting motion or a forceful impact. Athletes involved in sports with cutting or pivoting movements, such as football and skiing, are more prone to syndesmotic injuries. Symptoms include pain above the ankle, swelling, and difficulty walking. Proper rehabilitation and a gradual return to sports activities are crucial for recovery.

6. Tendon Tears:

In sports that require explosive movements and quick direction changes, such as basketball and soccer, tendon tears can occur. The two primary tendons at risk are the peroneal tendons on the outer side of the ankle and the posterior tibial tendon on the inner side. Symptoms may include pain, swelling, weakness, and an audible popping sound. Adequate warm-up, strengthening exercises, and avoiding overexertion can help prevent tendon tears.

Participating in weekend sports brings joy and camaraderie but it’s not without its dangers, so if you are unfortunate enough to get injured then please read our ankle injury page to see how we can help.