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How to Strap an Ankle for Support

Ankle strapping, which is not considered ideal for all injuries, is commonly used to treat ankle sprains, and is often done by athletic trainers, physiotherapists, or physicians.

Ankle strapping can be effective for runners and people playing sports, especially those involving quick changes of direction and sudden stop starts. Strapping can prevent or reduce the severity of ankle injuries such as ankle sprains or strains, and can help treat ankle injuries such as ligament sprains and tears. The strapping is made up of a series of straps that are secured around the ankle to support the muscles and ligaments.

The importance of ankle strapping to reduce injuries is one of the reasons why the strapping is commonly used. The primary purpose of the strapping is to reduce the risk of ankle sprains and other injuries. Strapping can be considered an important element in injury prevention and treatment.

As well as delving into how to strap an ankle for support, this article will explore the role of ankle strapping for injury prevention in order to encourage individuals to obtain help and to self-manage their injury after physiotherapy review. 

What are the Symptoms of an Ankle Sprain?

The most common symptom of an ankle sprain is pain coming from the ankle, usually from a sudden twisting motion at the ankle. Pain is usually caused by the muscle and ligament inflammation and is mainly felt in the ankle area.

Can Ankle Strapping Prevent Sprains? 

Strapping of the ankle initially after an injury can assist with reducing swelling and support the ankle, minimising pain and helping the ankle heal faster.

The best way to prevent any further strains is to fully rehabilitate the ankle, restoring strength and balance. You might like to have ankle strapping in place prior to any activity that could cause a strain for a little while after your injury. The strapping is usually made up of a series of straps that are secured around the ankle to support the muscles and ligaments.

How to Strap an Ankle

How your ankle is strapped will be determined by exactly where your injury occurred. The most common ankle injury is to the ligaments on the outside of your ankle. Usually an anchor strap is placed around the lower part of the leg, then a series of straps to support the outside of your ankle and prevent it rolling inwards. Additional straps can be placed around the back part of the ankle for further ankle support. Then the tape is secured with another strap around the lower part of the leg. 

The best time to strap your ankle is directly before the sport or activity you require the support for.

Additional advice for ankle strapping

  1. Ensure the strapping is firm, but not too tight
  2. Make sure you position your foot straight and ankle joint at 90 degrees as if you are standing on the ground when you are strapping. This will avoid the tape pulling your ankle into an abnormal position.
  3. Make sure you maintain circulation to your foot by checking that sensation and colour of your foot is normal after strapping.
  4. When in doubt, have your ankle strapped by your physician, physiotherapist, podiatrist, or other qualified professional

Whether or not your ankle should be strapped following ligament damage from a sprain will come down to your injury and medical advice from your physician or physiotherapist. Ankle strapping is ideal for preventing an injury, but is not always used for treatment. Taping your ankle may be useful when you need to be active or walk around following a ligament tear, but also needs to be implemented alongside a larger treatment protocol like R.I.C.E (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation).

Speak to a Qualified Physiotherapist Today

Looking for effective treatment of a sprained ankle or prevention of a reoccurring ankle injury? It may be time to get in touch with your local physiotherapist to discuss how strapping an ankle may benefit your circumstance, and how to best strap your ankle for running, support, or a damaged ligament. To speak to a physiotherapist at NQ Physio Solutions, get in touch by calling us on (07) 4729 0055 or book an appointment online today.

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