Ankle traumas are common — learn how to take an ankle for support to prevent it

In order to lower the chances of developing any types of ankle injuries while playing sports, you may want to think about taping your ankle. When done correctly, this can significantly reduce the risk of any ankle sprains, strains, or fractures you might get while playing soccer, football, or basketball. 

An ankle injury can affect the mobility of your feet, ankles, and legs. It can also cause pain and discomfort, which can affect your daily activities.

Ankle injuries are increasingly common, especially among athletes and people who engage in physical activity regularly. You can get an ankle injury by stepping on something sharp or uneven or twisting your ankle while playing a sport or engaging in another activity.

Effects Of An Ankle Injury On Your Body

Ankle injuries can be categorized as either traumatic or non-traumatic. Traumatic injuries occur as a result of trauma to the ankle joint like hitting your foot against hard objects or twisting your ankle severely. Non-traumatic injuries occur when you strain or sprain your ankle joint without experiencing any trauma (e.g., tripping over an object).

One of the most frequent forms of ankle injuries is an ankle sprain, which occurs when the tendons on the outside of the foot are stretched beyond what is typical for them (e.g., when someone steps on your foot). Your ankle joint region becomes painful and swollen as a result.

Non-traumatic injuries like Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis are also common due to overuse; this happens when you put too much pressure on these tendons for long periods of time.

Ankle injuries can be divided into three categories:

  1. Sprains are injuries that involve stretching or tearing of one or more ligaments, which connect bones in your joints. Sprains can range from mild to severe.
  2. Strains are injuries that involve the tearing of muscle fibers and/or tendons (the tough bands of tissue that connect muscles to bones). Strains can range from mild to severe.
  3. Fractures occur when there is breakage (fracture) of the bone. Fractures may be simple fractures, which are usually caused by direct impact, or open fractures, which are caused by an object penetrating the skin such as a knife or bullet. Open fractures may have other complications such as infection or loss of blood supply to the bone, both of which may require surgery to repair properly.

When you have an ankle injury, it's important to find the best way to support and wrap your ankle. This will help you heal quickly and prevent further injury. Athletic tape is a great option for compression and support, and there are many ways to wrap your ankle with it. Medically, the best way to support your ankle is with a brace, but wrapping it with athletic tape is a close second. 

Tape Techniques

A figure-eight style wrap is the most popular method because it provides strong support without constricting circulation or movement. 

The figure-eight starts at one side of the foot and goes up over the front of the shin bone to about four inches below your knee on that same side of your body. From there, cross over at an angle around behind your calf muscle, back up over your other shin bone (you should be able to see both loops coming off in opposite directions) then across in front of that same calf muscle before finishing by coming down around behind that calf muscle and tucking everything into place so no loops are sticking out. 

You'll need at least 10 feet of tape (most commonly two 5-foot pieces) to make this style of wrap. To create a loop, hold the end of one piece against the top edge of your foot as if you were going to start winding it around your leg. 

Then pull the other end straight across over top of the first end and let go. That creates a circle through which you can wind more tape until you reach the middle point on top of your thigh where all ends come together. If needed, unwind some from each end when reaching that point. 

Once you've got a knot secured in the center, overlap each end by 2-3 inches and twist them together. Finish with another small knot near the end of what will become your finished product, again leaving enough excess to cover any exposed skin.

A single-loop style is less supportive than a figure-eight wrap but offers more freedom of movement. It's also better suited for joints other than your ankle. To create a single loop, start by measuring out two 4-foot pieces of tape and marking out 2 inches at both ends of each piece with a piece of duct or masking tape. 

Place one piece on top of your foot, leaving 1-inch showing on each side, then mark another spot 2 inches away directly across from that end and set aside what will become your bottom edge before repeating that process with your second piece on top of your other foot so you have 1/2 inch gaps between each finished product as well as 1/2 inch excess overlap where all ends come together in the back. To finish, follow the previous instructions to complete your final knots in front. Note: you may need longer strips of tape for this design. If you're using smaller pieces, use three 5-foot strips instead of two. 

For any size strip length, fold back the ends about 6-8 inches so they don't poke out and do not overlap your new beginning at either end when winding the next layer over top; this ensures that your overlaps won't show once finished.

Ankle Injuries

If you've ever sprained an ankle, you know how painful it can be. The pain may be intense and throbbing, and it may last for days or weeks.

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, about 4 million ankle sprains occur each year in the United States.

The good news is that the majority of ankle injuries are on the milder side and they will usually heal by themselves in a matter of a couple of weeks. However, if your ankle is severely injured or has been injured before, it could take longer to heal.

What Happens When You Sprain Your Ankle?

When you sprain your ankle, ligaments that connect bone to bone get flexed too far beyond what their regular range of motion is. This causes pain and swelling around the joint of your foot and ankle.

What Causes An Ankle Injury?

Ankle injuries are commonly caused by twisting or turning your foot while it's planted on the ground or exercising with poor form or bad technique. Other factors that can contribute to ankle sprains include high heels or shoes with little support; playing sports like basketball or tennis on hard surfaces; having flat feet (also called "pronation").

Should I Tape My Ankle Before Playing Sports?

Taping your ankle can provide additional support and protection from potential injuries. When deciding whether or not to tape your ankle, consider the following: activity level, previous injuries, susceptibility to rolling your ankle, and pain tolerance. If you have any concerns, always consult with a medical professional before taping your ankle.

There are many benefits to taping your ankle before playing sports. The most important benefit is that it helps prevent sprains and strains. Taping your ankle can also help improve your performance by increasing stability in your ankle joint. The tape helps you perform at your best by protecting your ankle from injury.

The following are some of the advantages of taping up your ankle prior to going out and exercising or playing certain types of sports:

  • Preventing Injuries: Taping an ankle to prevent injuries is one of the most important benefits of taping your ankles before playing sports. Taping an injured joint can help reduce pain and swelling.
  • Increasing Stability: Taping an injured joint can help increase stability while playing sports. This is especially true when you have an unstable foot or ankle joint due to previous injuries or surgeries that may cause instability in your joint movements.

Final Thoughts

Securely taping up your ankle before playing sports is a great way to ensure your ankles will remain stable and secure. Doing so will create a lesser risk of developing an injury.