Do you want to read more about ankle bones? Ankles are part of the foundation to any good step, dance, march, or crossed feet. Without ankles, the range of motion for your feet would be less versatile. You should be careful, however, because many people sprain, break, twist, or otherwise injure their ankles. For example, over two million sprained and strained ankles were looked at in 2003. There were 800,000 ankle fractures that year, as well.
When you walk, you put up to 1.5 times your body weight in impact on your foot. That is a lot of stress on the moving joints of your ankles! Achilles lost his life because of his ankle. The now famous Achilles tendon attaches the leg to the foot through the back of the ankle. When this tendon is injured, then each step becomes excruciating pain.
Injuries can occur to the ankle in different variations. We've listed a few of these below for your information.
- Ankle sprains: This occurs from strenuous activities, especially those associated with sports activity. Ligaments are torn within the ankle because the inner ankle and outer ankle are not evenly strong. Ankle inversion, twisting the foot inward, can occur easily during running, falling, or jumping. Most sprains occur on the outer side of the ankle, at the lateral ligament.
- Achilles tendon injury: Although this tendon is the largest and arguably the strongest tendon in the ankle, it can tighten up during rigorous activity. The tendon can become overstressed causing Achilles tendonitis, or a rupture of the tendon. This can be caused by a hit to the foot, ankle, or calf.
- Overuse: Joggers and long distance runners, ballet dancers and basketball players are likely to overuse their ankles. Stress fractures and muscle or tendon strains can occur if the ankle joint is not properly secured. An Olympic gymnast can find her career greatly reduced from ankle injuries because of the nature of their sport.
Being aware of what activities can hurt your ankles is a good first step in the process of keeping your ankles in good working order. Check the list below and make sure that you are not breaking the rules of good ankle health.
- Athletes who are not careful and land improperly. If you are a runner or a jumper, then make sure that you are wearing appropriate supports to keep your ankles, feet and legs in good alignment.
- Ill-fitting shoes can create problems, too. If your shoes are too tight they will give your feet discomfort of course, but consider how you are walking when your shoes do not fit properly. You tend to limp or walk gingerly as you try to remove pain from your feet, inadvertently causing injury or weakness to your ankles.
- Having a bad leg, ankle or foot. Limping is a difficult way to keep from feeling pain. Instead, get a crutch or other assistance to keep you from accidentally weakening your strong ankle because you are favoring your weak ankle.
- Improper conditioning or warming up. If you are not warming up, you are not helping your tendons to stretch. If you begin an exercise or athletic regimen without properly stretching, you can give your ankles a rough road ahead.
Your feet, legs and ankles are the foundation for your mobility. If you do not take care of your ankles you are not doing yourself any favors. It is better to prevent an injury by watching where you are walking, even if it is crossing the street. Potholes and curbs can cause severe ankle sprains as much as athletic activity. Just watch where you're walking.