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Suffering from an ankle injury? Your shoes could be to blame

by , 25 March 2013

Bulls supporters were devastated this weekend when Deon Stegmann suffered an ankle injury on their Australasian tour in their match against the Reds. Team doctors estimate the flank will be out of action for at least a week. Ankle injuries are among the most common of all sports injuries that occur. The reason? In most cases, it's the shoes you wear. Here's how to ensure you have the right fit when to protect your ankles during your workouts.

“Running shoes have changed a lot over the years. They breathe better, are more likely to come in various widths, and are constructed from superior materials,” writes runnersworld.co.za. Most important, there are far more shoes to choose from (racing, training, track, cross-country). And that means there are more options available for you to find the right fit for your workout.

Doing that will ensure you protect your body from unnecessary sporting injuries during exercise.

But figuring out which shoe will work best for you isn’t an easy task.

How to pick the right workout shoe – in seven easy steps

To pick the right shoes for your workout, heed webMD.com’s expert advice before buying new footwear:

  1. Don't make your shoes multitask: Get the right shoe for the right activity to lessen impact on your joints.
  2. Know your foot’s particular quirks – it’s the key to selecting the right pair of shoes.
  3. Measure your foot frequently – feet change size (even in adulthood), so get measured twice a year.
  4. Shop toward the end of the day when your feet are at their largest
  5. Use the rule of thumb – there should be a thumb's width between your big toe and the end of the shoe to ensure you don't bang your toes during exercise.
  6. Never break a shoe in. They should be comfortable when you walk around the store.
  7. If you’re a runner, replace your running shoes after 500kms to ensure your feet get optimum support.

Injured your ankle? Heal it with RICE

If like Stegmann, you’ve already injured your ankle, use the RICE technique to set it right faster.

According to Health Bytes, the RICE technique consists of:

Rest: Don’t put pressure on an ankle sprain for at least two days – use crutches to help you do this.
Ice: Wrap ice in a drying cloth and apply to your ankle for ten minutes at least four times on the day of the injury.
Compression: Apply extra support for your ankle by using an ankle strap.
Elevation: Raise your ankle to the same level of your heart when sitting to keep swelling down.

Bottom line: By knowing how to pick the right shoes for your workout, you can prevent ankle injuries and avoid putting the RICE technique to the test.


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