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Q. I have a long history of spraining my ankles.  What can I do to prevent future ankle sprains?

A.  More often than not, a sprained ankle is due to a loss of proprioception and balance in the ankles, and not necessarily a strength issue. Proprioception is your body’s ability to sense its position in space. A classic example of when your proprioception fails you is when you trip on a flat surface while walking. Often you look back puzzled and in search of something sticking up that may have tripped you, only to see that there was nothing there. Some experts will argue that our shoes prevent the full development of the proprioceptors in our feet and ankles, which inhibit us from being able to quickly adapt to the ground surface.

1. Balance with one foot on a flat, stable surface for 30 seconds. Repeat with the other foot.
2. Stand on one foot on a flat, stable surface for 30 seconds with your eyes closed. Repeat with
the other foot.
3. Using an unstable surface, balance on one leg for 30 seconds with your eyes open. For an
unstable surface try a rolled-up or folded yoga mat, BOSU-ball, or wobble-board.
4. Using an unstable surface, balance on one leg for 30 seconds with your eyes now closed. For an unstable surface try a rolled-up or folded yoga mat, BOSU-ball, or wobble-board.
5. Play light catch with a light-weighted ball while balancing on one foot for 30 seconds each leg. Have a partner toss it to you at different areas.

Unfortunately, the ankle isn’t the only part that needs rehab in ankle sprains. Oftentimes, the gluteus
medius muscle in your hip region becomes weakened following an ankle sprain.

1. The Clam
2. Banded Glute-Bridge
3. Reaching Single-Leg Deadlift
4. Single-Leg Squat

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