Ankle Sprain Prevention

It is estimated that more than 25,000 Americans sprain their ankles every day [1]. This common but serious injury involves damage to one or more of the ligaments in the ankle. Ligaments are strands of soft tissue which hold bones together which can be thought of as rubber bands that stretch freely to a certain limit. When one rolls their ankle, ligaments are stretched past their limit often causing small tears.

When the body heals from damage to ligaments it uses collagen to support, reconnect, and reinforce the damaged soft tissue. The problem is that collagen is scar tissue and is weaker and less flexible than normal ligament soft tissue. These areas of weakness make it easy for someone with previous ankle injuries to suffer further ankle sprains [2]. The formation of weak scar tissue makes it important for someone to visit a doctor after suffering an ankle sprain and take rehabilitation seriously.

Ankle Sprain Prevention

A way of preventing ankle sprains is by regularly performing ankle strengthen exercises. Simple ankle strengthening exercises and balance training are a perfect way for anyone from competitive runners to the casual walker to prevent a serious injury [3].   

Ankle Strengthener:

  1. Sit in a chair and put a towel down on the floor in front of you.
  2. Put your bare foot on the towel, and keep your heel on the ground.
  3. Starting with your little toe, contract your toes to bunch up the towel tightly and sweep it toward the midline of your body. Imagine that you are bringing your little toe under your foot to meet your big toe.
  4. Without moving your heel, continue to gather and sweep the towel until you have done 10 repetitions or your run out of towel.

If you suffer an ankle sprain stop high intensity physical activity, whatever that may mean to you, and consult a doctor or physical therapist about diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation.


  1. “Current Comment from ACSM.” Nutrition and the Strength Athlete Nutrition in Exercise & Sport (2000): 255-57. American College of Sports Medicine. ACSM. Web.
  2. “Ankle Sprains or Inversion Sprains.” Resolving Ankle Sprains . Kinetic Health, n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2015.
  3. Wharton, Jim. “Runner’s Remedies: Ankle Sprains.” Runner’s World Sept. 2007: 50. Print.