Imbalance in ankle strength may lead to soccer sprains

June 25, 2012

Topic: Foot and ankle doctors

Soccer players may be prone to ankle sprains if one joint is stronger than the other.

A team of scientists discovered that professional soccer players are more likely to sprain their ankles if one foot is stronger than the other, as reported by Reuters Health. Such findings may have implications for athletes who need to visit foot and ankle doctors for such injuries.

In order to understand the mechanics behind ankle sprains, researchers from Greece, conducted an experiment that included 100 professional soccer players from four teams. After 10 months, 17 study participants endured one or more ankle sprains that were not related to contact on the field.

Data analysis suggested that differences in strength between the left and right ankles increased an individual's risk of a sprain by nine times, as compared to study participants whose ankles were equally strong.

"All soccer players, professionals or not, must be evaluated during the preseasonal period by sports specialists for verification of potential functional asymmetry of the ankle joint," researcher George Vagenas told the news source.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, warm-up and stretching exercises before a game or practice may also help prevent injuries in soccer. Cool-down exercises after stretching and proper hydration are also important.

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