What would you do if I told you, you can reduce your risk of the number one most common musculoskeletal injury by 35%? Well, that’s what we’re talking about today on the Doc On The Run Podcast.
Just last week, I was giving a lecture at the International Foot and Ankle Foundation meeting in Hawaii and the lecture specifically was conservative management of ankle sprains in runners who want to run.
One of the things we’re talking about is that ankle sprains are the most common musculoskeletal injury that affects athletes. That’s a simple ankle sprain. And one thing that happens is that when you sprain your ankle, you lose what we call proprioceptive ability, your ability to tell the position of things in space.
When you do that, what it does is it makes it harder for you to tell the position of your foot underneath you and you’re actually more likely to get another ankle sprain later. And so recurrent ankle sprains can lead to huge problems because if you have ankle instability because you’ve lost some of that ability to tell the position of your foot underneath you when you’re distracted running on trails, when the light isn’t great as it starts to get dark, all those kinds of things, you’re at huge risk of spraining your ankle again.
There was a study in 2009, published in the British Medical Journal, which actually showed that if you did proprioceptive training at home and this is true, actually, for athletes who were never treated by doctors, they didn’t go to the emergency room. They didn’t go see their doctor, but they had had ankle sprains and with this as the only intervention of restoring the proprioception in their ankles and doing some simple home exercises to do that, they reduced their risk of recurrent ankle sprains by 35%. So that’s a huge difference.
I know you’re probably thinking, Yeah, that’s really interesting, but I’m not going to bother because I don’t think I’m going to sprain my ankle. Well, that’s okay. You can always call me for a consultation when you do. Or you could just do some exercises and get better and make sure that you can tell where your foot is underneath you and reduce your risk of getting injured.
Keep in mind, it’s not that you need to avoid a consultation with me, what you really need to do is make sure that you don’t miss any time in training because when you sprained your ankle and you can’t run, you start to get way behind on your training plan. And when you get back to running to try to jam in extra workouts and it just causes a different overtraining injury later.
You might want to check that out, you might want to think about it and if you’ve had an ankle sprain and you still have pain, that’s one of the things I talk about in depth in the ankle pain masterclass and you can get that for free at www.docontherun.com/anklepainmasterclass.
If you liked this episode, please like it, please subscribe, and I’ll see you in the next training.
Hupperets MDW, Verhagen EALM, Mechelen WV. Effect of unsupervised home based proprioceptive training on recurrences of ankle sprain: randomised controlled trial BMJ 2009; 339.