As we progress further and further into the basketball season, one can’t ignore the prevalence of ankle injuries that occur. To me, it seems that basketball and ankle sprains go hand in hand. In my former life when I was a high school and college Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC), I would see countless kids limping into the athletic training room (especially in preseason) with a freshly sprained ankle. Whether, the athlete was a chronic or a first time ‘sprainer’, I would conduct a similar treatment plan consisting of the standard Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation (RICE) method all the way to functional return to activity exercises.
Like many ATC’s, after seeing so many ankle sprains occurring within certain sports, I implemented an ankle injury prevention exercise program (AIEPP) to help reduce the occurrences of injuries and re-injuries.
The following is just a snapshot of what you might find in a prevention program:
- Theraband -4 way ankle
- Manual resistance: 4 way & D1/D2 PNF patterns
- Single Leg Balance: Floor, pillow, Foam Square, Dyna Disk, Bosu Ball
- Gastrocnemius and Soleus (calf) strengthening
- Double and Single Leg Hops
- Gastroc/Soleus Stretch
Jessica Thomas, MS, ATC, CHC