About 25,000 ankle sprains occur daily in the United States, in adults and children alike. It is especially known to occur when playing sports and performing physical activities, but is also likely to happen when stepping on an uneven surface, or stepping on something slippery, such as ice. There are preventative measures that can be taken to protect you from slipping on ice and causing an ankle sprain. Some more obvious than others, this read will ensure that all your bases (and ankles) are covered.

But first, it might be important to know a little bit about the ankle and how it functions, particularly when it comes to holding itself in position. There are a number of ligaments of the ankle that hold the ankle bones and joint in position. They guard the ankle joint from irregular movements – namely twisting, turning, and rolling of the foot.

A ligament is like a rubber band, in that it possesses elastic qualities. Ligaments stretch within their ability, and then revert to their normal positions. Now, a sprain occurs when a ligament is forced to stretch past its limit. The severity of a sprain depends upon how badly the ligament is torn.

Let’s discuss a few tips before heading out into the cold: 

1). During your walk, avoid distractions such as your cell phone, and instead pay attention to the surfaces you are walking on or getting ready to walk on.

2). Teachers at elementary schools often yell “no running in the halls!” at their students, well, the same can be said here – take your time and walk slowly, that way you will maintain your balance.

3). Practice safety measures to prevent falls. For example, keep stairways, walkways and driveways free of snow and ice by salting regularly.

4). When walking down stairways or walkways, be sure to allow one hand to be free in order to use the handrail. That way you have something to hold onto in case you lose balance. If handrails are not present at your residence, be sure to have them put in.

5). Wear shoes with good traction. Rubber-soled shoes are best.

With this being said, Foot Care Associates is located in Hackettstown, Blairstown, Landing, and Washington. In case of a sprained ankle, be sure to visit Dr. Guiliana, Dr. Mullen, Dr. Nesheiwat, or Dr. Alessi to make sure you get back on your feet.

By Kyle Alessi

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