Ankle sprains are one of the most common sports injuries we encounter in our Boulder Physical Therapy practice. In our previous blogs we have written on the importance of early interventions such as manual therapy and proprioceptive exercise to help accelerate the recovery after these sprains. Prior research has shown a higher recurrence rate in athletes who return to play without Physical Therapy, as well as, higher rates of hip weakness in athletes who have sustained an ankle sprain. Recent research indicates hip weakness also increases the risk of future ankle injury in healthy athletes.
Powers and colleagues examined the leg strength of over 200 competitive soccer players prior to the start of their season (J Athletic Training. 2017). Athletes were then followed over the season for any incidence of ankle injury. Twelve percent of all the athletes sustained an ankle sprain with a higher rate of injury found among athletes with hip weakness. This study highlights the injury risks associated with hip weakness. Athletes are encouraged to participate in a strength training program to both improve their performance and reduce their injury risk.