Sports Medicine
A Crucial Period
Good Pain, Bad Pain
On Your Knees
Secondary Injuries
Imaging Technology
What's Sciatica?
The Female Athlete
Putting Your Feet First
Itis Schmitis
Too Much, Too Soon
Under the Influence
What's Goin' On?
Think Inches, Not Pounds
Preventing Vaginitis
That Painful Pull
Athlete's Heart
Exercise & Arthritis
Chilled to the Bone
Measuring Body Fat
Exercise and Your Breasts
Choosing a Sports Doctor
Lean on Me (Shoulder)
Exercise & Anemia
Exercise Abuse
Pelvis Sighting
Hand Aid
It's All in the Wrist
Back in Action
Altitude Adjustment
Tennis Elbow, Anyone?
Exercising in the Heat
Agony of the Feet
Restless Legs
Night Time Cramps
Birth Control Concerns
No Periods, No Babies?
Post Partum Prescription
Weight Loss Mystery
Undesirable Cooldown
To Brew Or Not To Brew
Fitness After Baby
Biking and Back Pain
Swimmer's Shoulder
A Hidden Athlete
Avoiding Osteoporosis
Drug Testing
Maximum Heart Rate
Headway Against Headaches
Torn Rotator Cuff
Fat Figures
Bloody Urine
Sag Story
Lackluster Leg
Bothersome Bulge
Gaining in Years
Taking It On the Shin
Aching Ankles
Hoop Help
Tender Toes
Meals For Muscle
Growing Pains
Hot Tips
High Altitude PMS
Personal Bests
Air Pollution
Ankle Blues
Heartbreak Heel
Yeast Relief

Aching Ankles

Sprains and Pains

Q: I am a 17year-old high school senior, and have played basketball and softball for 12 years. I've never had any problems with my ankles in softball, but for the last two years I have had endless sprains and twists playing basketball.

Recently, during a basketball scrimmage, I experienced sharp pains and cramps in my ankle, even though I tape and brace my ankles and wear high-top shoes. Now I get these cramps when walking, too. What are they? And what can I do to stop them?

Aching Ankles
Toledo, Ohio

A: Welcome to the club! Many active people have had ankle injuries; they're the most common athletic injury.

Basketball in particular is a sport that puts considerable stress on the ankle joint, since it involves rapid changes of direction and constant pounding on a hard surface.

Most recurrent strains and sprains are due to a failure to properly rehabilitate the ankle before returning to action. After the muscles and tendons have been over-stretched and damaged, they need to "relearn" their limits and regain their strength within the proper range of motion. If they do not regain strength, the ankle will have a tendency to buckle, which will further stretch and tear the muscle and tendon.

Recovery means much more than waiting for the pain and swelling to go away. It means undertaking a complete series of rehabilitative exercises to strengthen the ankle and foot to prevent future sprains.

The most effective program is one that is individually tailored to you and your injury by an experienced physical therapist or athletic trainer. You must dedicate yourself to the rehab effort, making sure that your ankle regains its strength before putting it to the test again.

What are some of the strengthening exercises you might be prescribed to do?

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Billie Jean King

Comments by Barb Harris
Editor in Chief,
Shape Magazine

General Health
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Environmental Health

The information in this web site is for educational purposes only and is not providing medical or professional advice. It should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. If you have or suspect you might have any health problems, you should consult a physician.

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