Can Poor Balance Lead To Ankle Sprains?

Can Poor Balance Increase the Risk of Ankle Sprains?
Ankle sprains rank among the most prevalent sporting injuries, with many individuals experiencing them at least once in their lifetime. Despite their common occurrence, the negative impact they can have remains significant. Interestingly, having poor balance may heighten the likelihood of experiencing ankle sprains. Below, we delve into the relationship between balance and ankle injuries and explore strategies to mitigate the risk.

Why are ankles particularly prone to injuries associated with poor balance?
Our ankles bear the weight of our entire body when standing on one foot. To grant us both agility and stability, our ankles possess the capacity to move laterally as well as forward and backward. A complex mechanism continuously operates to maintain the correct positioning of our foot while supporting this weight, especially during rapid changes in direction, activities performed on tiptoes, jumping, and landing.

Excessive inward or outward rolling of the ankle can lead to damage and tearing of the ligaments on its outer side. Balance plays a crucial role in keeping the ankle aligned correctly and preventing excessive twisting during demanding activities.

A 2010 study conducted by Timothy McGuine et al. on high school basketball players revealed that individuals with poor balance were up to seven times more likely to suffer from ankle sprains compared to those with good balance. Additionally, other studies have demonstrated that balance training effectively reduces fall risk among elderly populations.

Balance discrepancies can exist between legs.
Most individuals exhibit a preference for one side of their body in various activities, a phenomenon more evident in the upper body, where individuals identify as either left or right-handed. Similarly, such asymmetry extends to the lower body, with individuals favoring one leg over the other for balance-related tasks. Consequently, one leg may possess superior balance and strength, leaving the other more susceptible to injury.

Diminished balance can necessitate increased effort from the body during activities, leading to less coordinated muscle activation. Enhancing balance can enhance overall movement efficiency, potentially boosting performance without a corresponding increase in muscle strength.

Balance improvement can be achieved rapidly.
Balance often receives insufficient attention in discussions about physical health. However, the encouraging news is that it can be enhanced relatively quickly. Conduct a simple assessment to determine if you can stand on each leg for two minutes with closed eyes. Difficulty in doing so may indicate the need to prioritize balance improvement in your training regimen.

Your physiotherapist can pinpoint any balance deficits and devise a tailored training program to enhance your balance. Schedule an appointment with us to explore how we can assist you. The information presented in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult a healthcare professional for personalized guidance regarding your injury

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *