How Proper Footwear can Help Prevent Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprain are painful and inconvenient — the aching lasts for weeks, and your ability to get around while the injury heals is severely limited. Ankle sprains can even cause significant, chronic disability.

To prevent ankle sprains from happening in the first place, Dr. Yitzchak Cohen, DPM, at Podiatry Care recommends always wearing proper footwear, whether you're going for a walk around the city or engaging in athletic activities.

What causes ankle sprains?

Ankle sprains are one of the most commonly occurring small injuries. A sprain occurs when your ankle “turns in” too far. Your ligaments — the bands of tissue that hold your ankle bones together — are strained by the turn, and can become stretched or even torn. A bad sprain comes with a lot of pain and requires a long period of downtime to heal.

Falls often lead to ankle sprains, and lack of flexibility and balance will make you more prone to ankle injuries. Depending on your overall health, your ankles may have physiological weaknesses, as well. To reduce sprains, we at Podiatry Care recommend that you exercise regularly and safely to strengthen your ankles, and pick the right shoes for athletic and daily wear.

What types of footwear should you choose?

For daily wear, make sure to choose footwear that fits you properly and supports your unique foot shape.

If your feet pronate, or if you have low arches, choose shoes that support your foot under the arch as well as at the front of the shoe, and make sure the heels are very stable.

If you have high arches, or a stiffer foot, look for soft platforms and plenty of cushioning in your daily wear shoes.

Some studies show that high top shoes can help prevent ankle sprains, especially during athletic activity. The top of the shoe covers your ankle, limiting its range of motion and keeping it from bending too far in any direction. Additionally, the feeling of the shoe on your ankle increases your proprioceptive input, making you more aware of the area, and therefore, less likely to over-stress it. High top shoes may be helpful if you play sports like basketball that are high risk for ankle sprains.

High top shoes aren't the only way to support your ankle, though. Using ankle braces or taping can make any shoe more supportive. Shoes designed for your specific sport will best support your ankles through the specific stresses involved.

Preventing ankle injuries

Ultimately, the best way to prevent ankle sprains is by keeping your ankles strong. Pay attention to the terrain under your feet, and improve your balance and core strength, to avoid falls. If you do sprain your ankle, seek treatment and rest. Don't continue to over-stress the injury.

If you're worried about ankle sprains or other lower-leg problems, Dr. Cohen can discuss the best approach to caring for and strengthening your ankles and can suggest specific shoe options to fit your needs. With a special interest in trauma, sports medicine, and diabetic foot care, Dr. Cohen and the Podiatry Care team provide pediatric and adult podiatric care to new and existing patients in the Totowa and Paterson, New Jersey area.

To schedule a consultation with Podiatry Care, call our office or book online.

You Might Also Enjoy...

5 Nonsurgical Solutions to Plantar Fasciitis Pain

Have you been bothered by stabbing heel pain when you get up each day? It might be plantar fasciitis. You want relief, and you’ll be glad to learn that there are several effective conservative treatments you can try — surgery is usually a last resort.