Many individuals have taken up running as a way to keep fit and healthy and with this a lot of runners experience ankle ligament injuries. While a lot of factors may contribute to the prevalence of ankle ligament injuries,we find that the most common of these include training errors,incorrect footware,carrying excess body weight and a prior history of ligament injuries.
While we could delve into the topic of training errors into much scientific details the take home message is pretty simple: gradually increase training intensity and duration and remember that you should also incorporate resistance training in your routine and lastly,be mindful of the sort of terrain you are training on ie ( concrete vs trail )( hills vs down hills and so on )
We cannot stress enough the importance of wearing the correct footware even more so when training. This is because wearing the wrong type of shoes for your foot will result in biomechanical stresses being put on not only your foot, but also to other joints such as your knees or hips. Therefore, a proper foot analysis by a medical professional such a podiatrist, biokineticist or physiotherapist is extremely important.
CARRYING EXCESS BODY WEIGHT
This is one of those catch 22 situations where you are probably taking up running to shed your excess body weight but now we are telling you that it could result in ankle ligament injury. In this context it is best to say that should you follow the previous two points on training errors and footware you will go a long way in preventing running complications as a result of carrying excess body weight.
PRIOR HISTORY OF LIGAMENT INJURIES
If you have previously suffered ankle ligament injuries and these where not properly rehabilitated, you stand a great chance of reccuring ankle injuries. Talk to your Biokineticist they will be able to properly assess your ankle and give the appropriate intervention.
HOW ARE LIGAMENT INJURIES CLASSIFIED?
Ankle ligament injuries are classified as follows:
Grade 1 = mild
Grade 2 = moderate
Grade 3 = severe
Grade 1 – includes stretching of the ligaments, but no macroscopic tearing
– There is minor swelling and tenderness
– No increased laxity
– Loss of function is minor
Grade 2 – Defined as partial macroscopic tear of the ligament
– Moderate swelling tenderness and pain
– Laxity is mild to moderate with some loss of motion
– Functional disability is moderate
Grade 3 – Defined as complete tear of the ligament and joint capsule
– Severe bruising, swelling and pain
– Major loss of function
– Reduced motion and the ankle joint is unstable
While we could get into a great deal of details with ankle ligament injury, our parting message is that should you sustain an ankle injury of any kind you will be doing yourself a great disservice by not consulting a professional to help to help you manage and also prevent any future reccurrences of the injury. While the ankle may seem like a simple structure at first glance, there is definitely much more to it