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Northern Westchester Hospital Doctor Tells How To Avoid Ankle Sprains

Dr. Kurt Voellmicke, Northern Westchester Hospital
Dr. Kurt Voellmicke, Northern Westchester Hospital Photo Credit: NWH

MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. -- Dr. Kurt Voellmicke, Director of the Foot and Ankle Section for the Orthopedic and Spine Institute at Northern Westchester Hospital, is offering some advice about ankle sprains just in time for the New York City Marathon.

A sprain is defined as a stretched or torn ligament — the tough, fibrous tissue that connects one bone to another and supports your joints. By far the most common type of sprain is in the ankle. Typically people roll their ankle outward and damage the ligaments on the outside of the ankle.

Basketball and volleyball players are the most susceptible to sprains, followed by soccer and lacrosse players. Jumping and then landing unevenly or on the side of another player’s foot is the typical cause of a sprain. Ankle sprains can also occur sliding into a base or running on an uneven surface.

Here are some tips to reduce your risk of injury (per the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons):

  • Participate in a conditioning program to build muscle strength.
  • Do stretching exercises daily.
  • Always wear properly fitting shoes.
  • Nourish your muscles by eating a well-balanced diet.
  • Warm up before any sports activity, including  practice.
  • Use or wear protective equipment appropriate for the sport.

Learn more about what a sprain is and what to do if you have one on the Northern Westchester Hospital blog.