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GamePlan forAthlete Success: Treatment and Prevention of Ankle Injuries in Soccer


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Ankle sprains are common in soccer. Prevention and initial treatment of the ankle sprain will improve return to play and reduce the incidence and re-injury, maximizing performance on the field.

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GamePlan forAthlete Success: Treatment and Prevention of Ankle Injuries in Soccer

  1. 1. Ankle InjuriesTreatment and Prevention For the Soccer Athlete Bauer Physical Therapy
  2. 2. What Is A Sprain? Sprain (Definition):  A sprain involves ligaments  Ligaments support joints providing stability  When stretched or torn, a joint can become unstable  The outside of the ankle is the most commonly sprained Bauer Physical Therapy
  3. 3. Mechanism of Injury The lateral ankle sprain occurs as a result of turning the outside (lateral) aspect of the ankle This is called an inversion sprain This may occur when landing on an opposing players leg/foot, twisting, cutting, or slide tackling Bauer Physical Therapy
  4. 4. Treatment of Ankle Sprain Rest – Avoid weight bearing/exercise if painful or swollen Ice – Application of cold pack or soak in cold water Compress – Wrapping the ankle controls swelling and provides support Elevate – Raising the ankle above the heart with support helps reduce swelling Bauer Physical Therapy
  5. 5. Medial Management Medical Assessment  If there is pain, swelling, limited mobility, and is painful when walking  X-rays to rule out fracture Physical Therapy  Promote healing  Restore mobility, strength, endurance, and agility  Return to play testing Bauer Physical Therapy
  6. 6. Promote Healing Protect  Immobilize to allow healing of ligaments (brace, boot, compress wrap)  Crutches may be used to avoid increased stress with gait  Must allow ligament to completely heal or chronic instability may occur Bauer Physical Therapy
  7. 7. Mobility Restoring ankle after an injury, or prevention of ankle injuries, requires normal mobility of the ankle Perform ABC’s one time through tracing letters in the air, A to Z Perform foot circles in the air, 25 each clockwise and 25 each counter-clockwise Bauer Physical Therapy
  8. 8. Ankle Balance Injury to ligaments can damage joint positioning and awareness. If not restored, this may lead to chronic injuries.  Beginning Balance – Stand on leg with slight bend. Practice reaching leg opposite leg forward, side and backward. Continue for 1 min.  Advanced Balance – Perform this exercise with eyes closed.  Specific Balance – Stand on injured leg and practice lightly kicking soccer ball to helper with inside, outside, and front of free leg. Bauer Physical Therapy
  9. 9. Strength & Endurance Increasing the strength and endurance of the ankle and foot muscles helps to provide additional support and protection of the ankle ligaments/joint. Ankle strength and endurance can be performed with body weight and resistive exercise (manual, bands). Bauer Physical Therapy
  10. 10. Strength & Endurance Increasing the muscle’s ability to perform repeated work will require adding repetitions and sets of activity. This can begin with 1 to 3 sets of exercise. Repetitions can begin at 10 and build to 20-30 reps. Progressing the activities must be performed without increased pain, swelling, or stiffness. Bauer Physical Therapy
  11. 11. Return-to-Play Guidelines Criteria for ankle injuries in soccer includes:  Restoration of full mobility, strength, and endurance of ankle and leg muscles.  Restoration of full balance, agility, and speed, that meet the demand for performance and skill on the soccer field.  Physical tests include: Hopping, change of direction, jumping, speed in all directions and ball handling/passing.  Further protection/prevention of ankle injury can be provided by ankle braces and/or taping of the ankle. Bauer Physical Therapy
  12. 12. Ankle Injuries Randy Bauer PT, ATC  Bauer Physical Therapy: Laguna Hills  WellEvolvEdU: Bauer PT Blog  Bauer Physical Therapy Wellness: Facebook Page Bauer Physical Therapy