We know that, regardless what the rest of the country thinks, Colorado has more to offer than just downhill skiing. We have lots of other fun winter activities that could, unfortunately, lead to a sprained ankle. You could land awkwardly from a jump in the ice skating rink. Or fall while cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Or crash into someone while sledding or tubing with your kids. Why, you could even take a misstep while alighting from a horse-drawn sleigh ride, or take a spill during a dog sledding outing!
Winter activities can be dangerous, but you can take precautions and condition yourself so you are less likely to sprain your ankle. Long before you ever set foot outside, use exercises and stretches to build up your muscle strength and flexibility. The stronger your tissues and bones are, the more able you are to withstand stress or trauma to them. It is also important to develop good balance to prevent falls, and warm up properly before engaging in activities in cold weather.
Watch where you walk. Uneven surfaces could easily trip you up and strain your ankle ligaments too far. This includes the extra strain that hills put on your joints. Build up to this gradually, so your ankles can get used to the different mechanics needed for skiing or snowshoeing on angled surfaces.
Watch what you wear on your feet, too. Choose the right boots for your sport or activity. They should give firm support to your ankle to hold it in position. This is especially important with downhill skiing and ice skating.
Most important of all, listen to what your body is telling you. It will let you know in a hurry if you are overdoing it. If you feel a twinge in your ankle, stop the activity as soon as possible and find another form of exercise that reduces the strain on the joint.
If you have tried to be careful, but still end up with a sprained ankle, implement RICE therapy (rest, ice, compression, elevation) immediately until you can come in and have us check it out. Call (303) 423-2520 to set up an appointment at Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle Center in Evergreen or Wheat Ridge, CO, or request an appointment on our website. We want to help you heal properly so you don’t have recurring ankle problems in the future. Contact us today!
Photo credit: al71 via RGB-stock