Across the great state of Michigan, summer is finally on its way. That means plenty of fun in the sun: hiking, running, lake vacations, outdoor sports, and so much more. Unfortunately, in our line of work, summer is also the season of sprains. We often see a spike in ankle injuries this time of year as more people switch from hibernation to vacation mode.
At Lakes Foot & Ankle Associates, we have a wide range of advanced technologies and tools to help you recover and heal from any kind of ankle pain or condition. So let’s dive into how to prevent some of the most common summer ankle injuries and how we can help you get back on your feet when a problem does occur.
Most Common Causes of Summer Ankle Injuries
Poor Footwear Choices
When warm weather comes, we all want to reach for the flip-flops. However, flip-flops are one of the least supportive and injury-prone footwear options out there. The wrong pair can quickly lead to ankle injuries, whether from poor arch support or from sliding and twisting in wet shoes.
When choosing sandals (or any shoes), look for good arch support and insole cushioning. Preferably, choose a pair with multiple wide straps that hold your foot in place. And if you know you’re going on a long walk, put on a pair of well-fitting sneakers instead.
Not Warming Up To Strenuous Activities
Summer is a season full of outdoor activities, from high-impact sports to simply walking and gardening more frequently. Too often, though, we’re tempted to jump into these activities without proper preparation. If you haven’t been active for a while, it’s important to ease yourself back in, reconditioning your muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Start slow and work your way up to a higher intensity over time. And always make sure to warm up with stretches or light exercises before you start moving!
Not Using Proper Support
If you’ve suffered an ankle injury in the past, it’s especially important to consider wearing a brace, athletic tape, or custom orthotics. After all, having a history of arthritis, injuries, or other ankle conditions makes you more vulnerable to future aches, pains, and sprains. So before you go for a summer stroll, visit the park, or hit the beach, take a moment to consider the best support for your situation. If you aren’t sure which support is best for your foot type, our expert physicians can guide you to the best choice.
Top Ankle Pain Treatments
Some ankle injuries are mild enough to respond to the “RICE” method:
- Rest: keep weight off the affected foot or ankle
- Ice: use an ice pack for ten minutes every hour as needed
- Compression: use a wrap such as an ACE bandage
- Elevation: raise your leg for several hours a day to reduce swelling
However, if swelling and bruising doesn’t resolve after two to three days or pain persists for over a week, it’s time to call for backup!
Advanced Non-Surgical Ankle Treatments
When you make an appointment with Lakes Foot & Ankle Associates, we’ll use a comprehensive clinical exam and appropriate diagnostic testing to determine the precise nature and extent of your ankle injury. Depending on what we find, we may recommend one or more advanced non-surgical treatments to start. These may include:
- Custom orthotics
- Immobilization with a Camboot or acute Tayco brace
- MLS Laser Therapy
MLS Laser Therapy for Ankle Pain
Soft tissue ankle injuries don’t always respond the way we’d like them to. Fortunately, though, modern technology has given us an alternative to surgery, injections, and other invasive treatments for ankle pain: MLS Laser Therapy.
The MLS (Multiwave Locked System) technology uses a pair of synchronized lasers to supercharge your body’s natural healing processes. It’s one of our most exciting offerings, having helped over 90% of our patients with rapid pain relief, reduced inflammation, and tissue regeneration.
MLS Laser Therapy works by sending highly specific wavelengths of light into the affected tissues. One continuous and one pulsed laser reach deep into the injury site, triggering a cascade of cellular activity. As your body absorbs the laser energy, it begins producing:
- Collagen to rebuild and repair tissues and prevent scar formation
- New capillaries that reduce inflammation by providing damaged tissues with more oxygen and nutrients
- An increase in cellular metabolism that helps the body heal faster
- A natural response that blocks local pain signals
Keep Your Ankles Strong & Healthy This Summer
The last thing you want after a long Michigan winter is to bench yourself with an ankle injury. If ankle pain is keeping you from enjoying all the exciting activities the season has in store, call Lakes Foot & Ankle Associates today!
We’ll do everything we can to get to the bottom of your issue and recommend the best treatments for your individual needs. Whether you’re interested in laser therapy or simply need help keeping the pep in your step, we’re always happy to discuss your options. Now, get out there and enjoy the sunshine!
Comprehensive Ankle Pain Treatment in Commerce Township, MI
Lakes Foot & Ankle Associates is here to support your healthy healing journey. With our signature podiatric circle of care, we provide comprehensive diagnostics, treatments, and ongoing resources to keep you on your feet for the long term. If you have an ankle injury that isn’t healing, chronic pain, or other mobility issues, schedule an appointment by calling (248) 360-3888 or contacting us online today!
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