Recurrent Hamstring Strains – Why do I always pull my hamstring?
James Grierson - Basketball WA Physiotherapist
Ankle sprains are the most common injury in basketball, representing nearly 15% of all injuries sustained in the sport and taking an average of 19 days to return to sport. (Drakos et. al).
There is large variation in severity across different ankle sprains and numerous factors that can impact the average time it takes to recover fully. They can range from a low grade singular ligament injury to a combined injury to numerous structures across multiple joints with an accompanying fracture.
Some of the factors which may influence recovery times are:
Presence of a fracture or bony injury
Coexisting high ankle or “syndesmosis” injury
Grade of ligament damage
History of ankle or other foot injuries
Over half of all ankle injuries sustained are a repeat incident meaning that they have previously occurred (Drakos et. al.) Here are the best ways to prevent, reduce severity and recurrence of ankle injuries:
Utilising functional supports like an ankle brace and semi-rigid or rigid ankle strapping has been proven to reduce first time and recurrent ankle injuries (Vuurberg et. al). There has been no evidence to suggest that one of strapping or a brace is more beneficial in preventing injury than the other, and choice should be determined by the individual.
Coordination and balance or “proprioception” training have been shown to prevent recurrent ankle sprains (Vuurber et. al.). When exposing people with recurrent sprains to proprioceptive training their risk of lateral ankle sprains returned to normal levels. Proprioceptive training improves joint position sense which decreases injury risk. Strength work and training specific landing strategies help to prepare basketballers for the demands of landing repetitively for up to 12 months after injury. It’s therefore important to maintain your program even after you are back to sport.
There is low evidence regarding the use of footwear to prevent ankle injuries, although choosing footwear that is supportive and comfortable has been proven to prevent lower limb injuries. It is important to consider if any other foot inserts such as orthotics may lift your foot too far into inversion which may expose the ankle to increased stress across the lateral structures.
It is very important that you have your ankle injury assessed by a qualified sports physiotherapist to determine your prognosis as well as implement proven rehab and prevention strategies. Contact one of our sports physiotherapy experts to prevent future ankle injuries.